variations on a midnight clear. a poem. for advent.

where’s the glory in midnight?
the song of old tells of a girl
bewildered and drenched with the sweat of a crowning infant
would be
a baby’s fingers curled around the tip of hers
a reflex as all creation presses against the palm of the


where’s the clarity in darkness?
the crushing load all we can bear
without risking the dashed hope of salvation
hearts cloven by injustice
to trust
bending low under glad and golden hours
watching darkness, too swift, hastening on


where at last it comes upon us
the forte of Babel’s noise no
match against the full on refrain of a love-song
chords swaddling our toiling souls
into the shape of our brokenness
stepping into the form of our decadent filth


shepherds_angels 2

Painting by He Qi, a professor at the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and a tutor for master candidate students in the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University. He is also a member of the China Art Association and a council member of the Asian Christian Art Association (please check for more information about He Qi).
Post first appeared in my monthly, author newsletter, which you can sign up to receive in the right hand sidebar of this blog. Poem inspired by the familiar hymn, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
Words: Ed­mund H. Sears, De­cem­ber 29, 1849. Music: Ri­chard S. Wil­lis, 1850 

One thought on “variations on a midnight clear. a poem. for advent.

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