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Posts Tagged ‘advent’

He Shall Be a Light

By Jessica MesmanDecember 20, 2018

I could see the glowing nativity from my bedroom window, the whole set in molded plastic: Mary, Joseph, three wise men, two sleeping sheep, a donkey with a saddle, Baby Jesus in the manger. My dad arranged them reverently in the front yard and lit them with a long orange extension cord plugged into a…

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A Wilderness of Her Own

By Joanna Penn CooperDecember 18, 2018

It’s November, and I am forty-seven, a newly single mother, driving home to North Carolina from a conference in Pittsburgh, where I spoke with other women writers on a panel called “A Wilderness of Her Own.” It’s drizzling in West Virginia, and I’m gazing at the fog and branches around me almost to my peril…

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Mystical Rose Among Thorns

By Christiana PetersonDecember 18, 2017

Maria walks amid the thorn Kyrie eleison. Maria walks amid the thorn, Which seven years no leaf has born. Jesus and Maria.  —From the hymn “Maria walks amid the thorn” Sometimes there is a song underneath the deepest silence. In the birthing room, I went to that place where there is such quiet that the…

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What Child Is This?

By Andrew JohnsonDecember 7, 2017

My wife is holding my hand to her stomach, gently gliding my fingers just beneath her ribcage where two small feet have been kicking against skin. She is thirty-two weeks pregnant with our third child, due in early December, an Advent baby. Sitting on our bed, she guides my hand as if across a globe,…

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Advent Lights

By Bryan BlissDecember 4, 2017

The highways that snake down and around rural Iowa are dark. Enough that, if you are driving at the right time of night, and there isn’t a lot of traffic, you can catch moments of brilliance in the sky. Stars forever. An impossibly deep night. The opportunity to take a breath. My wife and kids…

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Gird Yourselves, Yet Be Shattered

By Natalie VestinDecember 22, 2016

Of Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley’s small encaustic Advent paintings, my favorite is Meditation on the Incarnation. If food can have mouthfeel, then art has gutfeel. Meditation on the Incarnation drops and spreads into the gut holy and creepy like tequila, like subzero air that both hardens and hurts the belly. Three blue, elongated forms more…

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Poetry Friday: “A Christmas Story”

By Robert CordingDecember 16, 2016

In “A Christmas Story,” Robert Cording evokes Aleksander Wat (1900-1967), a Polish poet that converted from Judaism to Christianity while imprisoned in the Soviet Union. During a brief moment out of prison walls, the poem explains that Wat was awestruck by a simple street scene: a beautiful women in a green dress, the “bell of…

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Keeping Vigil

By Suzanne M. WolfeDecember 13, 2016

These are dark times. Here in the northern hemisphere the sun is at its lowest point in the sky; the winter solstice is still weeks away. I’m sitting outside on my elderly mother’s kitchen step. I’ve come to England three times this year to take care of her. I came before and after her heart…

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Poetry Friday: “Advent”

By Bruce BondDecember 9, 2016

I’ve heard many people say we’ve never needed poetry more than we do now, but “Advent,” by Bruce Bond, reminds me that poetry has always been vital. The poem begins with a bombing in the Yellow Sea and smoke so thick “you cannot  see your hands,” which sets the reader up for a domino effect of…

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Poetry Friday: “Advent”

By Ava Leavall HaymonDecember 2, 2016

Of course you’ve heard of “El Niño.” And you know that it refers to the Pacific Ocean’s warming spells, which can cause heavy rains and even cyclones in the tropics. But did you know that El Niño (Spanish for “the boy”) is so named because it occurs around Christmas time? And did you know that…

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