Advent XXIV

by Claudia Lehman

Because our long impoverished race
has nothing more than straw to bring;
because we’ve lost the keys and maps
to doors away from suffering,
our only birthright is a grave,
we know the ways to it too well.
Look, we can hew one now for you:
O come, O come, Emmanuel.

Because our words have been our swords,
and ignorance makes refugees;
because we string our barbed-wire fears
in this, our futile fight for peace;
O take our names to teach us Yours,
bid palaces and thrones farewell.
To be a King we touch and feel:
O come, O come, Emmanuel.

Look now! and hush to hear the stars!
Put down your weapons, purses, doubts.
They sing advancing royalty,
but who can find their secret out?
Who could have guessed their humble song,
or who this wrenching grace foretell?
A lullaby in desert hills
welcomes, welcomes Emmanuel.

Here you can see a video of this song being sung. Photo by Kenneth Godoy

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