Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Light Has Dawned (Advent Poem 2016)

In keeping with my yearly tradition, one I have now kept up for twenty-five years, I wrote a poem during the Advent season to share with friends and loved ones. Actually this year I wrote several, but this was the one that seemed to call out for sharing. It's inspired in part by the verse in the epigraph (Matthew 4:16, which is of course echoing Isaiah 9:2) and also by the difficult path I've walked this year. I hope it will offer anyone reading it encouragement, for indeed, the light has dawned! Jesus is the light of the world, and he beckons us to follow him.

A blessed Christmas!

********


A Light Has Dawned 

(“The people dwelling in darkness 
have seen a great light, and for those 
living in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light  has dawned."  
-- Matthew 4:16)

The road is steep and dark and long.
I strain my ears to hear the song
Of stars that glimmer through the limbs
Of trees that nod and sway and bend –
I do not know this place I’m in.
I fear the night, and oh! the cold!
I try to make my heart feel bold
By walking straight and strong and true
But oh! the dark! What can I do?

The stars are all the light I see.
They peek in patterns through the trees
And glance upon the drops of rain
That caught in branches, sing of pain
But somehow, offer healing too –
I pause and wonder what to do
If the rain grows stronger, longer,
If the night grows older, colder,
If the darkness overwhelms
And leaves me in the shadow realms.

But suddenly it pierces through –
A light that’s bright and strong and true,
A light I know I’ve seen before,
It glows and makes my spirit soar!
It lights the pathway for my feet,
It pulses with the star song’s beat.
To my surprise, my steps grow sure
And all the raindrops look so pure!

The star song grows more loud and sweet –
I think I recognize this street!
A lane called mercy, a trail of grace
(the branches look like bridal lace)
The beauty of the night entrances,
(limbs and twigs are silver lances)
And everywhere light permeates,
I look and look and see a face –

The face of a small baby child,
A face so tender and so mild.
He beckons me to go along,
To walk this suffering road of song,
To follow heaven’s pulsing ray
To wait for dark to turn to day.
For one day darkness will be banished
Pain and tears forever vanish –
I will step through the cross shaped door
And find my home forevermore.
                ~Elisabeth M. Priest, Advent 2016

7 comments:

Marcia King said...

Beth, this is beautiful. My favorite part

"The star song grows more loud and sweet –
I think I recognize this street!
A lane called mercy, a trail of grace
(the branches look like bridal lace)
The beauty of the night entrances,
(limbs and twigs are silver lances)
And everywhere light permeates,
I look and look and see a face –


Merry Christmas to you, Dana and Sarah. May 2027 be joy-filled

Beth said...

Thank you so much, Marcia! I have so appreciated your love and encouragement this year. Many blessings to you this Christmas and in the new year too!

Don said...

But suddenly it pierces through –
A light that’s bright and strong and true,

All I could think of was Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Dark Island, and Aslan come as the seabird and whispering to Lucy: "Courage, Dearheart!" I weep at this.

Tidings of comfort and joy to you three. And courage.

Beth said...

That is such a beautiful moment in the book, and an important one in my own spiritual journey! I am thankful the poem helped to take you there. Not an inference that even occurred to me when writing.

Joy to you, brother. And so much peace!

The Roy Lyons Family said...

This is a blessed poem, born out of your adversity this year, dear Beth. It is also full of the hope of the gospel. He is with you. He is with us. He is our light and our salvation. "And that light shines in the darkness has not overcome it. " John 1:5 The Lord bless you and keep you, making all three of you very aware of His light and His constant presence. I love you so much! Mary

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Thank you, dear Mary! I am thankful for all the ways that you and your dear family share the light of Jesus with us, and with so many! Blessings this Christmas season!