Advent and a poem

We are having a special Advent chapel next week at school. I get a little crazy excited about Advent. Our wreath is maybe  my favorite thing to unpack when the decorations are hauled out. I force my family to endure a weekly Advent devotion and sign up to light the candles and do the readings at church because I LOVE ME SOME ADVENT. It kind of summarizes everything about my personality….anxiously awaiting something awesome, but not really quiet waiting. The kind of waiting where you count down the hours and mark the minutes. It\’s an active waiting. Pacing, watching out the window, wringing your hands, celebrating your anxiousness…all that\’s okay in Advent! Yay!

Anywhoooo, our principal asked for teacher participation in the special Advent chapel. Normally, I\’d be all, \”Ooooh, oooh, pick me!!!\” except that what teachers traditionally do is sing or play an instrument or do something else cool and musical. I was probably sitting in the corner for talking when the music talent got passed out. I don\’t have even a dribble of it. I can do lots of things really well: cook, crochet, nap, plan stuff…but none of those things translate really well on the stage. 

So, I wrote a poem. It\’s probably terrible. You are my friends. Don\’t tell me if it is terrible. Just pretend like you didn\’t see it and smile at me anyway. I\’m going to share it with the students next week. They, like you, are used to my special brand of crazy, and most of them just give me that \”Bless her heart\” look and go right on. I love them for that. 

Here is my poem…enjoy (or pretend that you do…I\’m okay with that!)


A Poem for Advent

by Elly Gilbert

A circle of candles, wreathed in green

Mark the days in anticipation.

Light one for hope-

We found it first in a promise fulfilled, tiny and innocent, in a manger in Bethlehem.

We remain steadfast in that hope

Waiting, trusting, expecting His return.

Light one for peace-

We rest in it, turning from evil, seeking reconciliation.

We let our feet be guided in peace’s path,

Praying, practicing, preaching its gospel.

Light one for joy-

We shout it loud, all the Earth sings it!

We let our wailing be turned to dancing, change our sackcloth for joy,

Praising, radiating, bearing its fruit.

Light one for love-

We share it with our neighbors, our enemies, the least of these.

We are loved by the One who is love

Unending, unfailing, unmerited favor to us.

Light one for Christ.

The Light. The Holy One.

Son of God, fully human and divine.

The promise fulfilled, the reason for our hope, joy, peace

Love embodied, broken, emptied



Light the candles, study the flickering flame.

Then, just like that,

Extinguish them!

In the quiet, dark stillness

The smoke swirls and evaporates.

But the Light of the world,

The Light that shines in darkness,

The Light of life,

It remains!

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