The Challenge of Light

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.




The Challenge of Light


advent is not about the coming

of a sweet baby.

it is not about sentimental,

trumped-up emotion.

advent challenges us

to an adult acceptance

of the kingdom of god,

to social imperatives,

to self-forgetfulness,

to letting go,

to a deliberate emptiness.


we like to make the Christ

into a perpetual baby.

we can cuddle a baby,

a baby asks nothing of us.

the Christ is so much more demanding.


advent doesn’t just happen

the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

our lives our one huge advent.

our lives are about bringing light

into this dark world.


in advent and winter we wait for light.

do we forget it’s up to us

to be light in the darkness

of a world that is






it’s easy to get hung up

in religion,

in practice,

in institutional think.

it’s easy to feel complacent

because we go to church,

because we give money.

the litmus test

is giving of ourselves,

is embracing mystery.

advent is not just a passive waiting.

it allows that we are responsible

to be light-bearers.

Most of these thoughts come from a small meditation book: Preparing for Christmas by Richard Rohr. I find them unsettling, preachy, even disturbing–I suppose because Rohr has hit that sore spot that challenges those of us who are Christian to really look at what Jesus asks of us in the Gospels. I hope there will be a message for all to hear…no matter what your own personal beliefs.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and many good things in 2014.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto



English: Betrayal of Christ

English: Betrayal of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Black notes hang
in a barren equinox sky,
fade into a cry of
coarse wonder that echoes
in a dark tunnel.

You balance the cup
of deep water before
a moment of stolen hope emerges
then abandon yourself
to pure gravity

before ripping apart the
warm apple.
Can you carve
wind into a blur of
textures or

sew rags for dappled
ghosts who fold them
in your tree-house?
The memory of a crowing
cock haunts you

constantly, doesn’t it?
Blood clots slowly
when you
break your promises.
Doesn’t it?

This is an impressionistic account of the biblical story of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas and his subsequent denial by Peter, considering Kelvin’s prompt for Saturday’s dVerse Poetics but linked to dVerse OLN. The stories illustrate human responses to failure. Overwhelmed by guilt, Judas despaired and hung himself, while Peter held on to hope and received forgiveness.