Post Author: Austin Crenshaw Shelley
When candles lifted
for Silent Night
wax-dripped and wick-burned
dropped in baskets
When cotton ball sheep masks
spray-paint gilded gifts of the wise
shepherd staff and wooden trough
find storage corners
to mark time til next December;
When liturgies recited
sanctuaries draped in cloak of poinsettia red
have held the promise, past tense.
Then the tide of Christmas—
good tidings of great joy
heaven and nature sing,
the ebb of frenzy
the flow of good news
It is among my favorite words:
This time that carries us to another shore;
these days that celebrate the one in the manger
who will soon admonish us to go across to the other side.
These moments to reflect and wonder,
to ride the waves of laughter
and the waves of grief that swamp our frail vessels
all the way to the One whose voice the wind and sea obey.
Austin ministers among the people who are the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Christmastide—with all its mystery and tension—is her favorite season of the liturgical year.
Image by: Max Pixel
Used with permission