This year I was asked to write the opening spoken word for Kings Edinburgh's Carol Service. They asked me to write about waiting for hope, for dawn, for God to turn up and keep His promises. For all faith traditions and none - that wrestle with hope is deeply human. And this year, it seems to have had a sharp edge. I've always found consolation in the humble and messy arrival of Jesus.
Peace to you, wherever you are. None of us are alone in the waiting.
Here's the audio, and I've set out the text below.
Just the dark
Just the dark at the start
of it all.
Just an ache
Just an ache for creation to form
Then you spoke-
Don’t they call that the very first dawn?
LIGHT you said.
And it is good, you said
All as it should
if only it would
But it doesn’t keep,
The light shudders, it cracks and
Where the earth – had sung – it laments
I heard you made promises
to ramshackle desert wanderers
The renewal of each broken thing.
To the childless, a son and a -
To every edge of the earth
Into my faith, unraveling strings of doubt
Into my doubt, perplexing ribbons of faith
How long will we wait for you?
Watch the dawn for some sight of you?
I waited before but nobody came
I waited for hope but stayed stuck in shame
I’ve tried praying, and then tried again
Asked for healing,
don’t know how to again.
My soul waits- watching the horizon for day.
The long wait is emptying me,
money weighs heavily
leaders lead senselessly
it’s hard to ask endlessly -
doesn’t hope make a fool of me?
I’ve learnt to hope carefully
You said you would set me free.
So I trust, though I cannot see.
Stand this ground
with all of me
That there’s grace spun through history
and your promise is holding me.
In the quiet
In the quiet like the start of it all
It’s still dark-
It’s still night, but I watch all the more
There’s a star – in the east – the faint sight of it starting to form.
- Hear a cry-
The cry of someone just born.