Advent 17 from Richard

The Invitation: a Christmas poem by Mark Greene
To Mary, the invitation came, skyborne on angel’s wings,
Heaven sent and pregnant with possibilities.
For, God knows, she had reasons to say ‘no’,
Her future, til then, so serenely assured:
A home, her good name, a husband to wed.
Everything indeed for which she thought she’d been bred.

Are such so easily cast aside?
Would love, security, reputation
Be so swiftly pried
From our determined grasp?
How other people’s risks seem simpler to take,
Our own stubborn knots so much harder to break.

To us, the royal invitation also comes,
Though usually in less spectacular script,
Sans seraph, but daily clear, which way will we go?
Of course, we are free to decline,
But ‘no’, promising more for now, always leads to less,
Better, braver, wiser, surely simply to say…




Here is my choice for our Advent-themed anthology of poems and carols.  It was written by Mark Greene, who is probably my favourite Christian poet.  For the past 21 years, he has been Executive Director of LICC, the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.  In this poem, Mark describes what may have been going on in Mary’s mind as she thought about her encounter with the angel, and the invitation she received.  Mark ends by inviting us all to consider how we respond to God’s invitations to us today.

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