Week 2 of Advent continues to play out the incredible story-line of the coming of Christ, both at his birth and at the second coming. This week’s piece attempts to wrap the entire Old Testament into a few short stanzas (not an easy task). It was my hope to pull out a few key events from the Old Testament that pointed directly at God’s plan to send a Messiah to once and for all end man’s fruitless struggle toward righteousness and redemption. I played with some repetition throughout, a writing practice that stretched me a bit.
Again, I know that a few of my readers are not students of scripture, so I’d like to unpack some of the narrative before you read the following piece. The poem briefly touches on four major events. The calling of Abraham into the wilderness to offer up his son, the waking of Samuel as God delivers a somber message to Israel, the beautiful story of the angel revealing to Mary that she is to carry the Messiah, and ultimately, the birth of Christ. There is a shift in person and voice throughout the piece that plays a crucial role in the delivery of the message. It is subtle, but my hope is that it is a powerful tool for relaying the narrative.
Wake up child. The sun has not yet risen.
The Lord is calling us away, to the mountain.
We must go and worship.
Let us go into the wilderness to see what he is doing.
For he is good. And he will provide.
Wake up child. Listen now.
The Lord is about to prick the ears of Israel.
He will punish them, for they have turned their hearts away.
Their house will know ruin, their sacrifices will be in vain.
For he is God. And he will judge the deeds of man.
Wake up child. You are favored.
The Lord is with you. His favor rests on you.
Sleep now, in the shadow of the Most High.
For your son is to be called Holy.
For God is good. And he will provide.
Wake up child. Your star has risen.
You are bone and blood, conceived in shadow.
Born to bring light to those who have walked in darkness.
Can you hear them? They cry out your name. They race to greet you.
Let them come, that they might know you,
That they might see your Glory,
That you might die for them.
Sleep now, Emmanuel, who takes away our sins.