An Advent Poem— by Richard Bauckham

An Advent Poem— by Richard Bauckham December 8, 2016



We long for glory.

when horrors haunt us –
the bombed hospitals,
the children raped and silenced,
the endless histories of hate –
when horror haunts our undistracted moments,

only the longing
softens our hard hearts
and fires concern.

We long for glory,
scarcely knowing what it is.
We long for that supernal dawn to break
wherever there is keening for the loved and lost,
ending the world’s wake.
We long to greet that rising sun
whose rays will melt
the tanks, the torture chambers
and the iron fists
of evil’s mighty show.
We long for light
to flood the streets where lust and lies
lurk in the shadows to entice their prey.

Evolution designed us, it seems,
as optimistic animals.
Positive thinking was advantageous.
But longing stirs
way beyond optimism.
It strains to see
not the bright side of life
but glory.

Amid the rubble of the doomed cities
children play,
defying bombs and mortars –
a make-believe that may perhaps come true
when truth becomes
the one who makes it true
and we believe.

He is the man of sorrows –
of all the sorrows of all times
and of this sorry earth.
There is no face like his
where truth and beauty,
passion and compassion
meld into glory.

We long to see his glory.

Richard Bauckham

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