In my explanation of the poem, First Deer, (back on Nov. 15), I mentioned that I had a cycle of four Advent poems published several years ago. “Curious George” (one of my readers) asked me to post those poems. Those four sonnets are based on the Old Testament lessons for Advent, Year B, in the Revised Common Lectionary, or RCL.
The RCL is a three year collection — Year A, Year B, Year C — of lessons that include an Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel reading, with Psalter response, for each Sunday and major feasts of the year. It’s a happy coincidence that the 1st Sunday of Advent this year (Nov. 30) is the start of Year B, so this cycle of sonnets will match the Old Testament texts that Roman Catholics and many Protestants will hear during the Sundays of December.
Each sonnet will be prefaced with the text on which it is based. I will post them for four consecutive weeks just prior to Sunday to which the poem is related. (We were out of town for Thanksgiving, so I’m a day late on this one.)
SONNET 24: THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT, YEAR B
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles the brushwood
and fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence.
Our prayer is that you tear the heavens wide
and come, Lord Jesus, (Maranatha!) break
the hold of evil in this world, ride
the winds. The glory of your name’s at stake.
Our prayer goes on and on without a hint
of answer. Silence seals the seamless sky.
The glory of your name’s at stake, restraint
will only lead to evil’s louder cry.
Why did you choose the clay to spread your name
abroad, Good Potter? Figurines and pots
are not the things which grab attention, claim
us. No we need your power to clean our rot
which eats our soul and so we pray you’ll come
Lord Jesus. Help us. Jesus quickly come!