Scottish Advent

The Advent wind begins to stir
With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
And in between we only see
Clouds hurrying across the sky
And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
And branches bending to the gale
Against great skies all silver pale
The world seems travelling into space,
And travelling at a faster pace
Than in the leisured summer weather
When we and it sit out together,
For now we feel the world spin round
On some momentous journey bound –
Journey to what? to whom? to where?
The Advent bells call out ‘Prepare,
Your world is journeying to the birth
Of God made Man for us on earth.’

That’s Advent 1955 by John Betjeman. Why is Advent a favourite for me? Well. Partly because it’s counter-cultural – against the grain of everything else that’s happening at this time of year. Partly because in calling us to face the ‘Four Last Things’ – death, heaven, hell and judgement, it calls me to think about things from my rather gloomy religious past – about things which are as far as can be from the daily blandness of much of our church life.

One thought on “Scottish Advent

  1. Is this the same poem with the line about sending xmas cards ‘my pride gone in for advertising.’?

    An old favourite, and nice to hear again.

    Great idea for a blog and I like the madeleine l’engle quote.

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