Christmas Poem XIV: “In the Occasional Year”

Every year, I write a poem for Christmas, and include it in my Christmas cards to friends and family. For the days leading up to Christmas, I’m publishing all of my Christmas poems here, as a kind of Advent calendar.

Today’s poem was written in 2005, a year when I finally heard the call to be a pastor. It was a year of great change in my life, and I think that shows in the poem.

In the occasional year we awake in the doldrums
Amid longing grey we await sunset golden
A new light rises from the dark of December
That ignites us and draws us in close to remember

In the occasional year we awake in the furnace
Amid sorrow we search the night sky for a purpose
A new light dawns; to the dark it says: “No!”
And the shadows are vanquished by its warm amber glow

In the occasional year we awake in Brigadoon
Amid surprises and journeys we ne’er expected so soon
A new light comes, kaleidoscope shine in the east
A light bringing comfort and miraculous peace

In the occasional year we awake among friends
Amid constant joy, this fine light never ends
The new light comes as always, and shines from our souls
It’s a light we can share, that makes us all whole

Whatever occasion this year brought to you
Know the mystery of Christmas is bringing light too
The lights on the trees that make children excited
The new light of the feast to which we’re all invited

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