An Advent Invitation and Blessing


I.  “Don’t be afraid,”
They sang into the dark.
Light: Brilliant, Bewildering, and Blinding
Tore through the dark night sky.

Light Sang: God is with us.  Don’t be afraid.

As the flaming messengers disappeared,
Dark returned.

Running, Stumbling
through the unlit
hills and streets,
Shepherds searching.
Overcome by
God with us.

II.  Don’t be afraid.
Signs and Wonders
seen from a distance,
visible only in the Dark.

Waiting for illumination,
They set off journeying.
Destination unknown.
Uncertain of
what exactly they
were looking for.
Just knowing that
they were supposed
to go.
Into the dark.

Led by and finding
God with us
along the way.

III.  “Don’t be afraid,”
said the light-winged messenger,
turning her world upside down.
Upsetting her plans
and dashing her quiet dreams.

God with us
is growing in you
coming into this world
through your
blood, sweat, tears, and pain.

So much pain.

Plunged into Dark,
Bewilderment, and Shame,
Mixed with Wonder and Hope.

God with her.
Growing in the Dark.
In the in-between time.
Anticipating birth and light.

IV.  Don’t be afraid.
Wait in this dark
night between days.
Sit in the unknowing.
Wait for your eyes to adjust.

When you are ready,
get up and walk.
Head into
the in-between time–
where you need to rely
on more than your eyes
as light and faith
grow within you
waiting for birth.

Peace be to you in the dark.
Peace be to you in your unknowing.
Peace be to you in your bewilderment.
Peace be to you as your old dreams die.
Peace be to you in your pain.
Peace be to you in your waiting.
Peace be to you in your seeking and in your finding.
Peace be to you as the kingdom of God grows in you.
Peace be to you as this kingdom is birthed from you.
May you know God with you.  In you.  Before you. Behind you. Beside you.
With you in this terrifying and full-of-beauty dark.

Don’t be afraid.


© 2014  J.L. Sanborn


I was invited to write and share a piece on peace for the Advent Art Series at Awaken Community this Sunday.  Thank you for the invitation.  I needed this poem.

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