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The Third Sunday of Advent: to Bethlehem the town of David by Jeremiah Brown
|The Third Sunday in Advent - 16 December|
to Bethlehem the town of David
Jeremiah ‘SugarJ’ Brown is a Croydon based poet. He has performed at a range of venues including the Roundhouse, Southbank Centre, and Birmingham NEC Arena. He is a Barbican Young Poet, a member of Spit The Atom poetry collective and one of the faces of Nationwide’s ‘Voices’ ad campaign. Other commissions include St Paul’s Cathedral and Totally Thames. His poetry has taken him to several festivals including Lovebox, Citadel and Walthamstow Garden Party.
In the beginning my eyes were formless
Maybe we travelled by donkey
Two voices spoke to me,
Abba works in mysterious ways.
The rhythm of our journey went in cycles,
“Augustus means exalted” said the rumble
Strange are the things you hear in the dark.
The things of that empire passed away
The rhythm of our journey went in cycles.
Like the baby Jesus still in Mary’s womb, our journey is often not of our own volition, but we are carried for the purposes of others. How many of us now live in towns and cities other than those in which we were born? How many in a country, in a language, in a culture different from that which our parents knew? Sometimes the journey isn’t physical, a change of circumstances, of status, of confidence, of health, of opportunity. We hope for the soft and musical voices of those we love, because even a change for the better is frightening in its possibilities, in its unknown-ness. And we wait, for the sun, the moon, the next cycle, we wait. Strange are the things you hear in the dark, when distractions of the light are gone and it is only you and God left, to talk. Am I on the right path? What happens next? Please, the strength to see this through. Please, the strength to wait. Thank you. Abba works in mysterious ways, what comes next is often not what we expected, what we wanted, what we thought we wanted. In the lowliest part of a great Empire eternity was born.
In this time of Advent we can pause and reflect on the journeys in our own lives. To allow the larger picture into focus, to remind ourselves how far we have come, not just have much further we still have to go. To remember that it isn’t always the grand gesture, the big moment, that makes the difference but the quiet ones, the unexpected ones, the surprise. To allow ourselves to be open to the next step, no matter how difficult or unlikely it may seem. To wait, in faith, for the next cycle.