Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crying in the Wilderness

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. John 1:6-8,19-28

The light falls out the sky
a dark blanket covers the earth
cold seeps like water through sand
and we are lost in the wilderness.

This darkness our own doing
we have turned from the light
we have stopped singing and dancing
we have let the fire burn down low.

The night long and brittle tears
drop slowly on our chilled red cheeks
we are sure of our failure our isolation
and we have forgotten the summer sweet fruit
the long twilights and the early dawn.

But you have not abandoned us our cries
are reaching beyond the vast night
our sorrowful keening slides through the shame
and touches your heart that formed us.

You stand and turn to us following
the smell of our fear and pain
in the wilderness you find us
and bind up our wounds reminding us
retelling the stories of love and sacrifice
the forgiveness and renewal we had forgotten.

With broken spirits we open our hearts
with nothing in our hands we reach our in love
with a song again in our hearts we dance
and drum through the full moon in deep water
fearing nothing but losing you.

The Collect
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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