He has come – a poem

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.

(Featured image: ‘Immanuel Transcription’ by Ross Wilson. An original art work created in conjunction with the poem, commissioned by New Irish Arts. Copyright of the artist, reproduced here with permission)


  1. 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



    1. 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,


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