Friday, December 12

The Whip of Advent

This bit of verse by Tristan Gylberd aims at capturing the stunning Chestertonian paradox of the incarnation by recalling and retelling the twin stable scenes from the Synoptic Gospel accounts--one during the first week of Christ's life, the other during the last. It is the strangest and most glorious of all the ironies ever to appear in this poor fallen world:

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

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