This Bethlehem Dream

Advent JesusBy Tommy Airey, from Listening in the Dark: Daily Advent Reflections for Radical Discipleship Communities (2017)

We script & sing this Bethlehem Dream
Of Life reflecting divine Reality,
Light illuminating every dark cavity,
When the lion and the lamb
Dance to a silent tune sung by all humanity.

Until then,
Addiction assaults an
Anxious audience
Caught in counterfeit dramas spun on cable channels.

Until then,
Abuse wreaks havoc
Over apathetic stutter
Reducing would-be protectors to a mutter.

Until then,
Alienation shortchanges families.
Intimacy swapped out
For tribal mentalities and daily practicalities.

Behold the lowly manger
Where dirty animals eat.
A scene utterly mundane
As violence keeps clicking repeat.

Behold this dark-skinned newborn
Swaddled in a barn without water & heat.
The angels claim he’s royalty
But the compost reeks of defeat.

An epidemic of pathologies neuters simplistic pieties.
Global healing springs
In clusters of conscience conspiring for peace.

This pregnant teen sings of Hebrew prophets
Cascading over corporate profits.
This unwed mother ponders amazing things:
Of the sacrificial gifts every child of God can bring.

Predator drones protested back to earth like manna.
The yeast of enemy love rises into eternity.
Predator loans projected back to banks like jubilee.
The seeds of second chance shoot up to infinity.

Light the candle!
Burn our hearts with the Story
Of a blue-collar couple
Reclining on hay bales with the hazed & grazing.

Fear not!
Uncivilized shepherds proclaim the news:
In God’s census,
The illegitimate and confused count.

In the meantime,
God’s incarnate schemes
Unveil vigilant memes
Of Love loitering incognito.

We script and sing this Bethlehem Dream
Of Life reflecting divine Reality,
Light illuminating every dark cavity.
When sorrow melts into solidarity
And tears turn to triumph for all humanity.

One thought on “This Bethlehem Dream

  1. Oscar (Oz) Cole-Arnal

    Hi Tommy,

    What a profoundly powerful poem! It captures, at a gut level, the conflicting forces that meet at both the manger & the cross. Yes, Tommy, “Light the Candle!/”burn our hearts with the story/”of a blue-collar couple//”Uncivilized shepherds proclaim the news:/”in God’s census,/”the illegitimate and confused count.”. Yes & Yes, dear bro, I walk & stumble w. you & cry out for that day “When sorrow melts into solidarity/”and tears turn to triumph for all humanity.”

    Your bro,

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