A gift from Maria Mankin reminiscent of Auden’s “For the Time Being” which takes us to US Thanksgiving.
At Christmas, we bow to the baby, the promise
of magnificent grace born out of humble beginnings.
On Epiphany, we greet the kings, a solemn
procession toward faith, distant as a star.
Through Lent, we sacrifice for the sake
of clarity, our wills reforged out of what we’ve lost.
On Palm Sunday, we sing Hosannas, and cherish
a celebration of blessed relief from the burdens we bear.
By Good Friday, we weep our goodbyes, beat our breasts
with rage at the depths of ignorance and cruelty.
Come Easter, we are alight with the promise again,
our risen Savior, the forgiveness of sins.
By Pentecost, our tongues aflame, we have nearly
forgotten the grace we’ve been given.
And then, we wait. The days are long
and bright, the shadow of the cross
with its unbearable weight
behind us for another year.
We are free, free to be lenient
in our search for grace, free
to be lazy in the call for justice.
We are free to be Christians
When the darkness creeps in, with its spirits
and its saints, we are caught by surprise,
aching for the light of the Advent wreath,
and the promise it brings. We have cast down
our burdens, shaded our lights beneath
the bushels of summer. We are lost.
And then Thanksgiving comes –
Not the turkey, but the table.
Not the flights, the fugues, the price tags,
but the reunion,
the rebirth of gratitude for the light
Christ brings, for the light we feed and share
with those we meet. The promise we lose,
and find again, the light, always renewed.