Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

With the dawn of Advent and a new church year, we’ve revamped our weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Revised Common Lectionary).



 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:  Matthew 1:18-25

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

Christ’s Nativity
Henry Vaughn

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:

Mary, Nazareth Girl
Ann Weems

Found in
Kneeling in Bethlehem

SNIPPET:

Mary,
Nazareth girl:
What did you know of ethereal beings
with messages from God?

[ READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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