Darkness, unspeakable and unspeaking
Darkness. Silence, not of contemplation,
Nor of craning, halt-breathed expectation,
But silence of the now non-verbal God,
Void quiet, out-of-form condemnation.
This is all, for generation after
Generation, ten times over, silence,
Darkness, a people un-peopled, distant.
Now, over the deep of barren gloom, over
The depths of a barren womb, life breathes again.
An angel breaking rank speaks, ‘Zechariah!
Your wife will bear a son, even now when
Tears of youth have dried in age, acceptance
Must now give way, for the Messiah will
Have one to speak his name – like the gathering
Of light in glowering clouds before the sun
Casts off the shroud of night, and breaks a Day
Whose only end will be consummation
On the Final Day. John must speak these things’.
This child, unexpected, now new-expected
Leaps to greet the One in Mary’s womb to
Whom he will witness among darkened minds;
Leaps at the sheer presence of this Other,
The incarnate God, who now is woven,
Worked into human form within his mother’s form.
But still, darkness. The keen-eyed Simeon
Who will not see death til he sees the Son,
Waits in faith amidst the oblivion
Of broken law, and these stricken lives
Who know no mercy, only sacrifice.
And Anna, rising every day, shuffles
Through the Temple bounds, praying, that the Lord
Would ground these redemption words, long left off.
Light, unspoken and unspeakable light
Breaks now. The Word at last made flesh, he comes,
He comes, the Son of God eternal comes!
Into the broken yards of drought-dry bones
Into the blasphemy of our godless scraping by,
Into our hearts he comes, transcendent God,
The Son, the majestic uncompounded Lord,
He comes, the timeless One unbounded,
The world-by-his-word forming King
Can now be found at an address, in the mess
Of our neighbourhood, in the flesh of our
Personhood, he comes the one who is wholly,
Holy Other, he comes to be our Saviour
Our Messiah, our Lamb and Lion
Lord and light, our deliverer
Who will carry our shame though not ashamed
To call us brothers. He comes, and all our
Words though wide as worlds, and all our songs
Though voiced in grandest composition
Can never carry the incomparable weight
Of this one who comes, whose incarnation
Is our hope, our joy, heaven’s confirmation
That though light from us was long withheld
God has shattered the sin that was our hell,
He comes, he has come, Immanuel.
Good morning brother Andrew, I just read your poem and I must tell you how much I needed to see it. The sheer enormity of the Lord Jesus Christ entering into our darkness has overcome me. I too am a pastor at a small church in Binghamton New York and very tired of the crazy running to and fro. I’m going to keep this in a place where I can read it again and again.
God bless you and your family, Tom
Sent from my iPad
Good morning Tom. Thank you so much for taking time to read my poem, and for your kind words. It’s such an encouragement to know that it has been a blessing to you.
As I’m praying today I’ll be remembering you and the ministry in which you’re engaged in Binghamton.
Lord bless you and yours,