Adventus Two

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After reading my Advent Poem last week, my mother-in-law sent me a message pointing out how rich this season is. One of the things she mentioned was that, even though most people assume the old Carol “Joy to the World” is about the birth of Jesus, it’s actually about his second coming. Read the lyrics if you don’t believe her! But it’s true. During the Advent Season, not only do we remember the first coming of Christ, but we look forward to the second coming. Now, I’ve been trying to base my poems on the themes of the four Advent Sundays, which is hard to do since everyone has their own version. But the version I’ve been going with has hope the first week, and peace the next. Peace is an interesting concept when put in light of the second coming, because we know that when Jesus returns, there will be a battle. Pretty much the opposite of peace, right? But we know peace comes at a price. One of my favorite moments in The Chronicles of Narnia happens in The Last Battle when Jewel the Unicorn sees Aslan’s country and cries out that this is what they had been longing for all their lives. Everything they loved about the old Narnia was merely a shadow of this new Narnia. The passion I can hear in Jewel’s voice in those few lines convince me that this new Earth we’ve been longing for is worth any price it may cost. It’s worth the price of a battle and, perhaps more profound, it’s worth the price that Jesus was willing to pay on our behalf during the first coming: The perfect harmony of both justice and mercy.

 

To Know Peace

Adventus Two

 

Tucked away in a library near my home

there is a stained glass window

with pictures of the Christ. He is frozen

in time, coloring the day with a serene

hand lifted, two fingers extended for

peace.

 

And so I have heard Him preached.

The skinny messiah living on loaves

and fish. Words flow like a bubbling brook

from his combed beard, softly like the coo

of a dove, that quiet nesting symbol of

peace.

 

But the lion prowls in the presence

of the dove. Though seldom preachers

preach of his hot tempered mane

flashing like fire, roaring like thunder

and like cranes in the Savannah flies away our

peace.

 

And soon he rides a white horse

with bloodstains on his robes as he presses

wine from the fury of divine retribution. He turns

his head and speaks a sword, rebukes those

who cry “Peace! Peace!” when there is no

peace.

 

So what do we make of the babe sleeping

in the manger? An infant crusader

who came to turn his sword upside down

and be hanged, turn his wrath against

himself, be fed to the lions that we may know

peace.

 

So come again, Lord Jesus. Not so we may see

peace but that we may know it. The last battle

will spin like a hurricane but you are the eye

where stained glass windows will be safe and

justice given with mercy will be our definition of

peace.

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