He will come like last leaf's fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud's folding.
He will come like the frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
— The Poems of Rowan Williams, Grand Rapids: Eerdsman, 2004.
As we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ,
kindle your light in our hearts
to keep us watchful and hopeful,
to open our lives to Christ's coming in many ways through all our days
—even in the least expected ways,
to witness to Christ's ministry and love to our neighbours,
to work together for peace and reconciliation with our neighbours,
to pray for our concerns in this congregation and in our lives.
In the name of Christ.
"The Voice of My Beloved," and "Arise my Love," from Song of Songs: an Oratorio, by Ryan Malone. Philadelphia Singers, cond. Mark Jenkins, 2014.
Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice." Song of Songs 2:9
James Tissot (1836 – 1902) Jesus Looking through a Lattice, 1886-94, Brooklyn Museum, New York
21 December — The Feast of St Thomas
Thomas encounters the wounded Jesus. Panel from the ambulatory of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.