People, look east!



1. People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.


2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.


3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.


4. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today
Love, the star, is on the way.


5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Joy of the redeemed


“The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

Like the crocus it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy…

…Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer…

…Water will gush forth in the wilderness

and streams in the desert.” (Is 35;1-10 NIV)

Somehow, the rejoicing of Advent 3 has found itself being drowned out by the contemporary collective rush, where people either consciously or subconsciously reach for the “fast forward” button to get to the stable and manger too soon. But as we journey over the hills deserted by the shepherds, as we draw ever closer to the cradle, we peer through a receding darkness to see the pink flush of a new dawn of hope.



The Loosening of Winter’s Grip- A Prayer


Outside, the wind howls in a rage. Without mercy, rain lashes against the window.

With his back to the fireplace, he stares through the glass and sees the limbs of the tree stretch out towards him, gnarled and clawed, gnashing at the window panes. Not yet the silver tinsel or twinkling, coloured lights. Darkness seeps through towards him. Darkness threatens to envelop his heart. Relentlessly, rain lashes against the window. He sees his own reflection, tears of rain streaming down a distorted face in the glass. A frozen, broken smile stares back at him.

Behind him, he sees a flickering light. Embers in the fireplace flicker to life. A delicious, involuntary shiver of longing. Body trembling, he closes his eyes. Soon, very soon. Be patient.

“Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.”

The Dawn From On High Shall Break Upon Us

Loch Con

O Morning star, awake the dawn!
Let out your cry;
Let love be born!
Awake the living! Awake the dead!
A cry to all people-
Lift up your head!

Tendrils of light caress the brow,
Shafts of light, closed lids twitching now,
A quivering lip, an aching thigh,
A mother-to-be releases her cry.

O Morning star, awake the dawn!
Let out your cry;
Let love be born!
Awake the living- see God’s cradling hand,
Build life on the Rock,
And not on the sand.

See- there is your dwelling!
There- not here,
Look east for your saviour,
Wipe away your tear.

O Morning star; awake the sky!
Trumpets shall blast and angels will fly,
Awake the living! Salvation is near,
Banish the darkness-
Love Love;
Fear not fear.

Photograph courtesy of Gordon Nichol


Towards the LightA

In Advent we wait,
wait for the darkness to end.
The first flickering light has been lit
a single flame of hope
urging us to keep faithful, keep watching,
keep waiting.
Just as those of old did.

Darkness being lost,
lost to the light;
rays of peace, beams of comfort, flashes of glory,
seeping into the darkest of places.

As we wait,
wait for the brightest of all lights.
each small light declares
‘The light that came long ago will come again’.

Keep the light burning, the best is yet to come.

The Peace of Wild Things

contented duck

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry
from Selected Poems