Saturday, November 29

The Whip of Advent

The pitch of the stall was glorious
Though the straw was dusty and old
The wind sang with orchestral beauty
Though it blew bitter and cold

The night was mysteriously gleaming
Though the earth was fallen, forlorn
For under the eaves of splendor
A child-The Child-was born

Oxen Sheep and doves
Crowded round Nativity's scene
Though the world still failed to grasp
T’was here that peace had been

Cast out into a cave
When no room was found for Him
His coming was a scourge
That cleansed a robber's den

While the Temple's become a cattle stall
Where beasts and such are sold
The Child's turned Manger into Temple
And changed the base to gold

Tis the paradox of the ages:
Worldly wisdom will ne're relent
To notice signs of visitation
Nor the cords of the whip of Advent

--Tristan Gylberd

4 comments:

Bonnie said...

Giving this out tomorrow to my
Gileskirk students.

Bonnie

TulipGirl said...

TG again captures the spirit. . .

Dana said...

still pondering this poem .... and the last phrase *the whip of Advent*

I am unsure of what the poet means - whip as in whiplash or jerking myself into shape in preparation or whip as in (self)flagellation?

Perhaps I can be directed to a website where I can learn more about Tristan Gylberd.

As time allows I await some insight.

Thank you.

George Grant said...

Dana: The poem compares two barnyard scenes from the life of Christ: the stable in Bethlehem at the time of the incarnation and the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. So, the "Whip of Advent" connects the whip of Christ in the temple with the expulsive power of "Immanuel, God with us."