Happy new year

As this year ends and gives way to a new one
think of it as a gift you have received.
In the joys and struggles, delights and losses,
grace has made its way into you.
Give thanks even if you don’t know what for.

Whatever regrets you have for the year just passed,
hand them over now. Without judgment,
place them in the hands of the Forgiving One
and let it all simply become part of your story.

Whatever hopes you have for the year to come,
trust it as another gift.
Be prepared to welcome the moment
each moment, with wonder and love.

Whatever resolutions you make for the new year,
know that a deeper current than what you want
or what you resolve is what God is doing in you.
Attend, and follow.

The new year will bring you grace.
May you receive it deeply.

Dec. 31, 2014

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Incarnation

The Thou of this darkness,
you come, longing,
rejoicing
to be here.

Voice of this universe,
you speak us,
weep us,
sing us.

Love of this mystery,
you blossom
into
us.

This, now,
is holy,
and all flesh is holy,
is yours.

This world,
even its pain,
is the stuff
of You.

There is nowhere,
in no one,
that Thou
art not.

Ave.

— December 30, 2014

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The fifth day of Christmas

The fifth day of Christmas.
Already decorations are being retired,
families dispersing, holiday travelers returning;
the usual resumes.

But the holiday is not half over;
these candled days spill over into the world.
“The shepherds returned to their fields,
making known what had been told them.”

Take back to your fields
the shepherds’ wonder,
the magi’s perseverance,
Anna and Simeon’s attentiveness,
Joseph’s willingness,
Mary’s yes,
the child’s presence.

As the starlit night closes its eye behind us
the Beloved still comes into the world.
Welcome each moment
prepared to meet God in it.
Bear this wonder into this day,
and the next.

 

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Behold

         Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
                  —Luke 2.28-32

Simeon and the prophet Anna now,
you who have been waiting,
you who have searched,
take the divine infant in your arms,
touch the holy that is here,
here,
and give thanks
that your Lord is no distant star
but here among us,
whom you may touch—
see the Holy One
in all of them—

a wonder to be held.

— December 26, 2014

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Christmas blessing

God is with us.
The Beloved comes as a child,
tender and willing,
in deepest love.

No power in our hands can undo
this great gentleness;
no tragedy can overcome this light.

May the deep peace
of God’s gentle presence
awaken you to wonder
and fill you with love.

May the deep blessing
of God’s peace with us
bring you peace
with all living things.

May the tender love of God
bring you joy.

Alleluia!

— December 24, 2014

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O holy night

O Come, Beloved,
in this night of our travail
in which we cannot see;
breathe with us, in us,
and be the saving arm around us.

O Life-making Word,
speak your light in our heartbreaking darkness,
and call this world into being anew.

O Borning God,
in the well of this deep night
wrap all our expectations in your mystery,
shroud in darkness all our knowing
of how you are among us,
bundle tightly our wisdom
in your smallest box,
and come to us otherwise.

O Intimate Dawning,
bear us through the night
and birth us into a new day,
changed,
infant,
breathing.

— December 23, 2014

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Listen to Gabriel

Gabriel was sent to Nazareth in Galilee,
to Mary, engaged to Joseph.

         In the particular real things around you
         look for God.

He said, “Greetings, favored one!
The Lord is with you.”

         Sitting here now at your computer,
         God is with you. Welcome the Holy One.

She was perplexed, but the angel said,
“Do not be afraid.”

         God’s whispers can rattle us.
         Don’t be afraid to listen.

“You will conceive a son,
and he will be great.”

         God’s grace is blooming in you.
         Nourish the Holy within.

“He will rule over the house of Jacob forever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

         God is renewing all of Creation.
         Trust your part in the Great Work.

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”

         It’s not about you, but God,
         whose goodness can use what life you offer.

“Now Elizabeth in her old age has conceived.
For nothing will be impossible with God.”

         Nothing.
         Nothing.

“Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me according to your word.”

         Yes.
         Yes.

Then the angel departed from her.
         We don’t always feel God’s presence;
         but the promise has already been kept.

[Luke 1.26-38]

— December 22, 2014

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The flesh of God

In my vast little darkness
         what is that, dim and moving?
                  A divine child blooms within.
                  
O rose-dawning, O splendor,
         O nebula unfurling,
                  how small you begin!

How might I tend you, little one
         who has chosen me?
                  How might I adore?

How do I bear you, Infinite Love,
         tender Life-Longing,
                  unfolding in me?

How do I become your enclosure,
          your safe passage,
                 an opening for you?
           
How shall we raise you up,
         set you on your way
                  to live your own life?

— December 19, 2014

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Magnificat

My soul is God’s glory. Amazing.
         I am awed. I am grateful.

The world thought me lowly
         but I am blessed.

I’ve been given the Holy One’s power: mercy,
         mercy I pass on to generations.

The strength of God blinds the proud,
         confounds those deluded by power.

The Just One takes down the powerful,
         vacates them from their boardrooms,

and raises up the dispossessed,
         gives them justice and honor.

God has filled the hungry with good things
         and sent the rich away whining.

The Great One has helped the little ones,
         with mercy toward the vulnerable,

as always, from the beginning,
         as promised to Abraham and Sarah,

our ancestors,
         and forever.

(Luke 1.46-55)

— December 18, 2017

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Emmanuel

Beloved, this day and every day
         I am with you.

You are my flesh; I your longing;
         you my muscle, I your nerve.

Each day I leave my homeland
         to marry you.

I abandon the palace of clouds
         to blossom into this world.

I touch you in the feel of smooth stone,
         sound of the sea.

I wrap arms around you
         in those you love, and have.

In life I am your shadow;
         in death I am that shadow.

I am both sides
         of the curtain of absence.

The word without throat or lips
         rising in the deepest unknowing,

the unhearable voice in your night agonies,
         it is I.

I am your breathing, you are my song,
         you my trembling, I your strength.

We are what only can be we,
         this courage, this beauty.

We are this world’s dawn,
         the light that is we.

Go forth into this day,
         this long unfolding of us,

and may it be for me
         according to your way.

—December 17, 2014

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