Category Archives: peace

A Christmas Song by Wendy Cope

I am very grateful to my lovely friend who shared this poem with me – acknowledging that Christmas isn’t always the scene of bliss and contentment that we are led to believe, but can be a time of pain and fear

A Christmas Song

Why is the baby crying
On this, his special day,
When we have brought him lovely gifts
And laid them on the hay?

He’s crying for the people
Who greet this day with dread
Because somebody dear to them
Is far away or dead,

For all the men and women
Whose love affairs went wrong,
Who try their best at merriment
When Christmas comes along,

For separated parents
Whose turn it is to grieve
While children hang their stockings up
Elsewhere on Christmas Eve,

For everyone whose burden
Carried through the year,
Is heavier at Christmastime,
The season of good cheer.

That’s why the baby’s crying
There in the cattle stall:
He’s crying for those people.
He’s crying for them all.

Wendy Cope

 

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Darkness #Advent

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

Responding to Isaiah 9:2-7 

We stumbled and floundered, we scrabbled and groped our way along.  How could we see, for there was no light?  Not where we were.  Something had happened, something was missing.  Someone had stifled all the light and left us.  Darkness all around.  Real darkness. Total black.

How can I get out of this?  Who will rescue me?  Lead me?  Help me?  Guide me?  Who can bring a light, shine it on my path, that I may see?  I can’t get myself out of here.  Where would I start?

Someone, please, come and save me.

11222011

 Lord,
you know the depth of the darkness,
the place of despair,
where there is no hope and no way out.

Reach into my darkness I pray.

Bring your light,
that I may be able to see a way out,
your way,
guiding me,
onwards,
with you.

Forgive me Lord,
the times that I have made the world a dark place.
When I have snuffed out light,
taken hope,
dimmed the light of your presence;
when I have abused life
and goodness
and justice;
when I have turned my back on you
and on others;
when I have failed to see,
because I wasn’t looking;
when I have ignored your call;
when I have behaved
as if I am the only thing that matters.

 Forgive me Lord,
and bring light,
hope and peace,
to me
and to your world.

He’s Not Here Anymore

 

Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church (Columbus, Ohio) - stained glass, The Empty Tomb
By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12

I had to go
to the place they’d laid him.
I had to go
and continue the task,
to honour
in death
the one we loved so much.

I came,
dragging my cares,
my fears,
my worries.
Wondering,
questioning;
as much about practicalities
as huge theological questions.

The kind of things you worry about,
to stop you worrying about the really huge questions.

But when we got there
our confusion turned to panic.
Someone had moved the stone,
that huge rock
rolled right away.

How could anyone have budged that?

It was the final stopper
on all Jesus had been,
the seal on all he had promised.

The end had come.
We had to face it.
And yet
it had gone.

Moved.

No longer a barrier.

Left behind was
the message,
he’s not here.

It isn’t over,
this isn’t the end.
God has had the final word.
Jesus is alive.

What next?
Who knows,
but Jesus remains with us
God in him.

God taking us
on this journey
on
into life,
hope,
power.

Into life where there was death,
hope where there was despair,
freedom where there things were held down,
power where there was powerlessness.

He isn’t here anymore,
he has risen.

When seemed as if it was all over,
that this was it,
done,
finished with,
dreams shattered,
hopes dashed,
it was only the beginning.

Thank you Lord
that you have other ideas,
a new hope,
a bright future,
new life
in you.

Taken from my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter, available from Moorleys