Waiting for Baby by Julie Doiron
burning with life and a hope
that will not be quenched;
by John Wieners
A Hatchet with Which to Chop at the Frozen Seas Inside Us
by Gillian Conoley
Then John said to the crowds who came to be baptized by him, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire.”
The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”
He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
He replied, “Collect no more than you are authorized to collect.”
Soldiers asked, “What about us? What should we do?”
He answered, “Don’t cheat or harass anyone, and be satisfied with your pay.”
The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people.
While You Wait for the Others by Grizzly Bear
by Harvey Stower, adapted
Gracious God, May the light shine on all our days.
It is there, despite illness, defeat, and tears.
It is eternal.
The Lord’s Prayer
O Source of the Radiance,
dancing in and about all-that-is,
Shine forth into the depths of our beings,
and enkindle there the flame of thy essence.
Grant that it may blaze forth
and fill us with its searing creativity,
Until, fully united with thy fiery desire,
light pours out from us, taking form.
May we be revitalised each day
with nourishment for body and spirit,
And be liberated from all that oppresses us,
as we struggle to mend the fabric of our world.
Let us not be enmeshed in the nets of illusion,
but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For from thee shine forth
the precepts, the sustenance, and the generative fire,
from centring to centring. Ameyn.
Waiting to Know You by the Fiery Furnaces
May the Maker’s blessing be ours,
encircling us round
May the angels’ blessings be ours
and the joy of the saints
to inspire us
to cherish us.
May the Holy Child’s blessing be ours,
the wine and the water,
the bread and the stories
to feed us
to remind us.
May the Spirit’s blessing be ours,
the wind, the fire,
the still small voice
to comfort us
to disturb us.
And may we all bless each other –
a blessing rooted in our common pilgrimage,
the blessing of friends.
May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Human, and the Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.