Advent Circle Poetry

Have you noticed the uptick in volume, the expansion of traffic, the binge-stream of Christmas music?  The season of winter holidays is punctuated with background noise, a hum that we hear without hearing, often distracting us from what is at hand, wether that be the wait in a line, the cold, or our efforts to focus on a task or be present for another person.  Most serene images of Christmas-time are quiet – snow falling on a house, looking at a party from the outside through the window, a candle burning, a tree glowing, the poor huddled on the cold street, the mountain of torn wrapping paper lying under the tree after the opening of presents.


This poem by Madeleine L’Engle invites to reflect from that silence of this season theologically through the gospel story of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Today, in the midst of the noise and bustle, cacophony and symphony of this season, pay attention to the silence – the moments of it, where you are in it, listen to see if it speaks to you of the story of Christ, of the longings of your heart, of a hope that might lie dormant within you.


Ready for Silence
by Madeleine L’Engle
from The Ordering of Love: the New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle


Then hear now the silence
He comes in the silence
in silence he enters
the womb of the bearer
in silence he goes to
the realm of the shadows
redeeming and shriving
in silence he moves from
the grave cloths, the dark tomb
in silence he rises
ascends to the glory
leaving his promise
leaving his comfort
leaving his silence

So come now, Lord Jesus
Come in your silence
breaking our noise
laughter of panic
breaking this earth’s time
breaking us breaking us
quickly Lord Jesus
make no long tarrying