• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

In on It

I’ve been musing through a collection of Advent poems by my favourite poet, Luci Shaw, entitled Accompanied by Angels(Take up and read Luci’s poems anytime, but especially at Advent, the time of year that seems to have promoted the most fecundity in her.)

In “Advent Visitation,” Luci speaks of trees bowing under a breeze: “obeisant,/the way angels are said to bow, covering their faces with/their wings, not solemn, as we suppose, but/possessed of a sudden, surreptitious hilarity.”

Peter tells us that angels have “longed to look” into the Mystery of Salvation (I Peter 1:12). How excited they must have been at the impending advent of the Lord. How difficult, therefore, it must have been for Gabriel in particular to keep a straight face at the gravity of the annunciations to Zechariah and Mary while being buoyed by an almost irresistible impulse to fly up into the sky and fill it with light and sound: “Glory to God! This is The Greatest Thing That Will Ever Happen! And it is happening now!

May I, endowed with much smaller capacity, still be filled today with that joy of expectancy, that thrill of knowing—for sure!—that Christmas is coming

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