Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Two Christmas Eve poems by Madeleine L'Engle

The Risk of Birth, Christmas, 1973
by Madeleine L'Engle

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn–
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn–
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.


Come, Lord Jesus
by Madeleine L'Engle

Come, Lord Jesus! Do I dare
Cry: Lord Jesus, quickly come!
Flash the lightning in the air,
Crash the thunder on my home!
Should I speak this aweful prayer?
Come, Lord Jesus, help me dare.

Come, Lord Jesus! You I call
To come (come soon!) are not the child
Who lay once in the manger stall,
Are not the infant meek and mild.
You come in judgement on our all:
Help me to know you, whom I call.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come this night
With your purging and your power,
For the earth is dark with blight
And in sin we run and cower
Before the splendid, raging sight
Of the breaking of the night.

Come, my Lord! Our darkness end!
Break the bonds of time and space.
All the powers of evil rend
By the radiance of your face.
The laughing stars with joy attend:
Come Lord Jesus! Be my end!

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