Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Pain and Promise

This is the first year in quite a while that I didn't write a poem for Christmas. I'm not sure why I skipped this year, but there are several possible reasons that I'll be thinking about.

I'm going to post a Christmas poem from the past that is something of a lament. It seems that God is leading me to engage in such lamentations, and I might post some of them here.

From Ezekiel 22:23-31

Son of man, O son of mine,
Your land has need of cleansing rain.
Conspiring prophets weave their lies
To make the holy foul, profane.

A prince, a wolf that tears its prey,
To seize a dime, they slay the least.
To leave a widow castaway
Is not a sin, so says the priest.

Son of man, O son of mine,
The prophets smear excuses broad,
A whitewash coat, a false divine;
They say their words have come from God.

And all the people indulging greed
Have followed princes, prophets, priests
Oppressed and robbed the poor in need,
Perverting justice in your streets.

Art thou a son or just a hire?
Go stand before your land of sin
To stay my angels’ swords of fire
And fill the gap from deep within.

Your eyes O God have seared me through;
Before your mercy throne I fall.
How can I bridge a path to you?
The gap is wide and I am small.

Then words I heard by spirit’s ear
From whispering wind encircling me
“A maid hath borne the end of fear;
The bridge was built from bloodstained tree.”

Son of man, O son of mine,
Go bear his cross to those in need,
And speak his words across the line,
That I may spare the ones who heed.

I took his cross upon my back,
His crown of thorns upon my brow,
I wore the maid’s poor cloths of sack,
His words alone my oath, my vow.

I hear, obey, and stand with thee
The gap so wide, so deep and dim.
A maid, a tree, a bridge, and me,
God’s tools to build a path to him.

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