Lulu! Get Out of The Tree! (Really, it’s a post on Advent, but the cat was in the tree)

Twenty years ago when I preached my first Advent sermon, I began by confessing just how much I did not like Advent at all. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. I love this season of waiting for the Light. Christmas lights all over the place and carols playing in stores and on the radio are just plain fun. I still don’t like the crowded stores or the increase in entries on my calendar and to-do lists, but they serve as a reminder of the choices I get to make about how I prepare for Christmas. It’s not all crazy consumerism nor is it all serious spirituality. For me Advent is an opportunity to regain a little balance in my life through both a little extra frivolity and a renewed effort to choose hope, peace, joy, and love in Christ over despair, anxiety, complacency, and apathy often in the world. Advent is a time of waiting. Sometimes waiting on tiptoe with joyful anticipation  and sometimes waiting with agonizing impatience for the One who is, who was, and who is to come.

The theme of the first Sunday of Advent is traditionally hope. In honor of this and in an effort to maintain the balance between work and relaxing in my life, I’m sharing a poem from my book, A Circle in the Dark: Daily Meditations for Advent, 2011. (To find the book, Click Here)

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” Jeremiah 33:14-16

Broken Hope


darkness creeps closer than expected
pressing cold fingers on window panes
slipping through glass
touching restless dreams

disquiet in the night


warring images deter sleep
violence witnessed in battles
familiar and foreign
wound long after a body heals

unrest wakens in the dark


tears of grief flow unheard
for the child lost
despair grips harder
in the absence of light

hope breaks in silence


days are surely coming
when light will burst through
with justice in hand
to fulfill a promise

Let us not walk in darkness too long

RCL – Year C – Frist Sunday of Advent – December 2, 2012

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36


About rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. My latest book is available now to order from Chalice Press, The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (
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