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Advent

Advent a Season

(x = space)

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Advent a Season

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It begins tomorrow

It’s coming

That’s what Advent means

Open the paper doors

Read the message

Take the chocolate,

Mentally take a

Count of twenty-four

In a corner of

The counting mind

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So much to do

We say

And, yes, we do

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Too much?

I don’t know

That is another calculation

Achievement, disappointment

Satisfaction

The remainder

In the quotient

Both the object and the function

Of investment

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And can there

Be joy?

Yes, there can be

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Mute the commercials

And the other things

There are moments

In the darkness

There’s pain

And also promise

The prophets

Of so many traditions

Say so

Generally

And now

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Find your way:

There should be stars

Conversing inside

Degrees of brightness

While clouds and moon

Have come to play

As well

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So listen well

And talk

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There’s mischief

And there’s pleasure

For days

We might live differently

Then keep that

For a season

And another,

If the difference is good

If it’s made of lights

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Like in the northern half

Of Earth

The towns and fields there,

Reflections off of snow that

Will be trodden

Blown or melted

But remembered

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There is a new living

In this count of days

Or lose count

There will be arrival,

Anyway

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jack Catalano on Unsplash

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Christmas Campaign

(x = space)

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Christmas Campaign

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Christmas

Is a month away

Precisely

In this year of 2022

Good timing for Black Friday

I don’t understand

They’re only things

And each other’s company

The presents

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Not to be maudlin

Or mawkish

Sometimes the truth

Must come with syrup

That makes it sweet,

At least

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I wouldn’t know

How to deal with

Great expectations

Of receiving things

Rather than

Only ourselves

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There could be meals

Recipes

Desserts

Special drinks

Coffee

We could defend each other

Don’t let people drive

Until they’re ready

Turning out spare rooms

(Spare Oom in Narnia

with a War Drobe)

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I don’t mean a campaign

And I do

Christmas is love

More than possession

Though there’s nothing wrong

In wanting things

And owning them

And if there are dangers,

I think

You know what they are

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A month from now

Merry Christmas

It doesn’t have to be sectarian, for

Maybe part

Of Christmas love

Is diversity

And the widest possible

Welcoming

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C L Couch

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Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, specifically The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(x = space)

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We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(Christmas Eve)

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Let’s not slice it to death

This time

Let’s simply have observances

Let all the contradictions go

We know there’s folklore involved,

Which should fascinate

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There was such darkness

At hand

Of one kind or another

Of the past, of

The present

Lack of awareness

Of the import of events;

Only to the players

Did things matter,

They in acts

No one to put it all together until Luke

And a little bit in Matthew and in John

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Prophets old and new

We have to say

Knew and know some measure

Of the meaning

Of it all

They are extracted

And we read them, too

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Such dulled and slow senses

Sometimes history goes that way

Sometimes it’s spiritual

The people walked in darkness

There might be other forces, too,

To keep us from the light

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But it is there

The birth is there

Incarnation as a doctrine

Thought some of it at least

Might have been as any birth

A baby in the world

This one in a cave

And that’s unusual

And all around

The mystery

The strangeness

There was adventure in the sky

And from some people

Who in an iron empire

Chose to dedicate another lord,

Another life to follow

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The child is God

But who knew that?

Mary and Joseph

Angels

And the magi knew something

While the shepherds were told something

As good news

This is the messiah!

Who really understood?

How could a baby save the world

Who is not Caesar

With family, tutors, strategists

Sheltered behind stone walls,

Armies out front

That keep the world

For them?

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Well, other parts conspired

Into a birth, a life

That through faith

And later patchwork

Yielded doctrine

And a way

The people of the way

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As on that night

(let’s call it a night)

There would be amazement

There would be awful things as well

But wonder now

And wonder later on

And with us, still

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Praise God, for God is good

God is love

God is a spirit

Who wonders now

And offers light inside the darkness,

The kind of darkness that is not

Romantic but it

Stultifies and kills

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Believe the child

Humbly, take the child in

To dwell with you

Maybe like a foundling, at the start,

Then as a teacher

And a savior

And a temple of salvation

In the city of God

(new heaven)

And on God’s free land

(new Earth)

Forever

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Sweet, little Jesus child,

They made you be born in a manger;

Sweet, little holy child,

We didn’t know who you was.

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Didn’t know you’d come to save us, Lord,

To take our sins away:

Our eyes was blind, we could not see;

We didn’t know who you was.

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We didn’t know who you was

Maybe we should have

Maybe we can, now,

And into new ages

Love revealed

Prophecy fulfilled

The child grows up

We grow up

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And for this night we way

Welcome to the world, child,

And everything that starts

Now

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C L Couch

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could be a choral or a choir reading

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“Sweet, Little Jesus Child” is a song of African American origin.  The precise source is unknown, and there are variants and variations.

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This is the third in a creative, liturgical series for Advent and Christmas.  The other two parts are the last two days’ posts.  I think I’ll work on something else now.

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Photo by Agung Raharja on Unsplash

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In Darkness

I’ve been having trouble with WordPress.  I can’t leave comments on your pages.  I get an “error” block that tells me to go back and when I do I still get the “error” block.  I don’t know if anyone has experienced this.  Maybe the problem is with my computer.  Frustrating!

This won’t fix the problem and doesn’t really address it; but if want to get in touch with me (especially while I’m not able to reach you via the blog), you may use my e-mail address, clcouch17055@gmail.com.

CLC

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(x = space)

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In Darkness

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A child is born

Into this?

How cruel

Such cruelty

If God should call this down

A child of God

(a child?)

Then why not to cushions

In a palace

For a start?

Why not with special parents

In a prominent family?

Why not with

Advisors and with teachers

Frankly, generals

Standing,

Kneeling

By?

Why not with a well-known name

Conveying might

Mixed with celebrity?

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Bethlehem?

There are two such places

You are inviting debate

And neither is a capital

An important place

For births

Unless by the mother stopped

By happenstance

On the way to Jerusalem

Or Rome

Somewhere we can argue is

The center of the world

Where we can triumph

(two drum beats)

Where are the triumphs?

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Where are the angels

(bells)

Well, there are

The angels

We are frightened

They say

Don’t be afraid

(we are afraid)

Tidings,

Good news?

To our cynic selves we know

There is never good news

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And who are the shepherds?

Smelly men

Who should be outside town

Yet they pass us by

With purpose

What?

Where?

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Bethlehem, again

And we people of the world

Maybe we should follow

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Or, you know,

We could wait for the news

When it’s official

The sky is dark again

With normal night

We have two years

And more,

Should something else

Happen

(two drum beats, bells)

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C L Couch

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A companion piece to yesterday’s.  Another one tomorrow—there you will have a trilogy of liturgy for Advent and Christmas Eve.  Or for some other reason.  Or for none.  Note this verse has sound effects.  They can be left out, I’m sure.

CLC

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Photo by Lasse Møller on Unsplash

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The People Walked

The People Walked

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God announces

God’s own birth

An absurdity of prophecy

Things bang together

Light good

Dark bad

(for now

for often dark is good)

People in darkness

Who understands?

God is coming

But God is here

God has been here

From the start

Before the start

God was

And is

And shall be

And now, what,

A child?

A virgin birth,

Come on

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A working together

Of generations,

Places

So that everything

Comes together

Complements

Too much

It is too much

You try the words too much

The documents are old

And sacrosanct

We keep them in a temple

Leave them be

What we believe

Is in the temple

Leave it be

We sacrifice flora and fauna

We dedicate

Our children

We don’t need another child

Or of such scandal

Leave us be

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We are specific

We are everyone

(analogous)

We have freedom

In measure

We hate the other measure

But taxes

And armies

Are the world

It could be worse

It has been worse

We plot

Inside the darkness

In our own planning time

As we say,

Leave us be

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So God is coming

And it’s taken centuries

Ages, if we count

From the beginning

And before

The God who answered nothing

With creation

And now a child

Without instruction

For our training

As a Caesar

(any Caesar)

This is too much

We have our own children

And for Caesar

Charges and complaints

From Spain and France

Morocco, Egypt

To Iraq and Israel

Rumors in Russia, India, and

China

All the world

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Everywhere

And everywhere we know

Is burden

Don’t weigh us down with more

Words and promises

And obligations

Expectations

You expect us to believe?

Unlikely

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C L Couch

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I don’t know how I got to thinking about Christmas while summer is hot on.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, though I like the seasons as they happen.  Maybe I need a charge of faith, like a CO2 cartridge making soda pop in the soda fountain.  Maybe I need some soda pop.  Maybe I’m preparing what might seem way ahead for liturgies in Advent (the good news and the difficult).  Or maybe a little future holiday (of any number of holidays) is okay for the present, that is, right now.

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Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

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Modranicht

(x = space)

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Modranicht

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Maybe I need a break

Go somewhere

Look at lights that others

Have put up

Phantom merrymaking

On my part

No, wait, they were put up

For me and others like me

To go by

To gaze at from afar

Appreciate the rainbow lights

Against the snow,

If snow,

Against the dark

Of night

Of loneliness

Of season’s night

Of season’s loneliness

That say, we’re here

And some of us

Are here for you

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C L Couch

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Modranicht, Night of the Mothers (a Yule celebration, now Christmas Eve)

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Ilkley, United Kingdom

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The Peaceable Kingdom

(x = space)

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The Peaceable Kingdom

(Isaiah 11:1-9)

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Cheetahs wouldn’t have

To kill,

And they could run with their

Great speed for delight

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There would not be war,

For everything we wanted

Could be gotten

In a better way

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We’d have peace with each other;

We’d have so much

Extra time

To do good things

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Peaceable admittedly

Is an antique word,

But it speaks to potential

To talent

And to quantity

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Who makes this peace?

God does–

But what shall we have

In the mean time?

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It’s in our time,

Our will

To make it happen

From able to have peace

To having it;

The worth is us and

Our mortal talents

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The Earth burns,

Weapons are secretly supplied

To war:

It is crazed comfort

(in both aspects)

To wait for an apocalypse

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We have now–

Heaven, in fact,

Might be waiting for us

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C L Couch

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Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

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Advent 2

(x = space)

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Advent 2

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Shall we light

Two lights from

One light

To move the meaning out

A little

To say this is a season, now

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As the light is shared

So should we share

Our hopes

And dream

Intentions

For more light

Of our own making

For mercy

And a thoughtfulness

Toward love

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C L Couch

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Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash

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Ready or Not

(x = space)

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Ready or Not

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God is coming

God is here

God is a child

God is a teen

God is a grownup

God is a spirit

God is love

Everything at once

The Medievals didn’t mind

Neither should we

It is a time

Of amazement

Dare I say, magic

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Each year God comes down

While angels rise

We look up

And on the Earth

Feel our investment firmer

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Prophecy

And miracle

A merging of all tenses

Where

And when

God is involved

All things

Work for good

x

It is our age

Sick, healthy

Corrupt and even

We merge tenses, too,

Hoping for

Everything

To work out right

What’s left is

What there is

Illuminated by a star

The gift

The trash

The holes

The holes filled in

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Whether or not

We are ready

For the light

It is an age of light

It was

It will be

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C L Couch

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Photo by Krissana Porto on Unsplash

Paris, France

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