Advent Good Wishes by David Grieve

Image by Linda Richardson

Image by Linda Richardson

The poem I have chosen for December 16th in my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word, is Advent Good wishes by the contemporary priest poet David Grieve. You can hear me read this poem by clicking on the title or the play button. The dramatic image above, which brings so much of both war and the hope of peace into play, was created by Linda Richardson in response to this poem. she writes:

In this painting there is a figure, maybe an angel or a tree spirit holding a candle, but the light from the candle has a radiance that is other worldly. It gently lights up the sleeping wolf and lambs that rest at the foot of the painting. At first the painting seems very peaceful but it is disturbingly fiery and high above the tree are two military helicopters hovering, it seems, like vultures. I wanted to paint both peace and war, as they are the reality of the times we live in, however the centre of the painting is very still, the figure has its eyes closed and is perhaps praying.

In turbulent times we may wonder how to keep despair at bay, but the radiant, gleaming colours of the painting tell us that God’s love surrounds us on every side and encompasses us. If we trust God, then the gleaming beauty with which God surrounds us can become our vision and fear is kept at bay.

You can find you can find a short reflective essay on this poem in Waiting on the Word, which is now also available on Kindle

Advent Good Wishes

Give you joy, wolf,

when Messiah makes you meek

and turns your roar into a cry that

justice has been done for the poor.

Give you joy, lamb,

when Messiah saves you from jeopardy

and all fear is overwhelmed

by his converting grace.

Give you joy, wolf and lamb together,

as Messiah brings worldwide peace and,

side by side, you shelter

under Jesse’s spreading shoot.

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3 Comments

Filed under imagination

3 responses to “Advent Good Wishes by David Grieve

  1. Linda Richardson’s Peaceable Kingdom vivid painting is as different stylistically from the monochrome Peaceable Kingdom woodcuts of Fritz Eichenberg (1901-90) as one can imagine. Yet one common element stands out: the lion lies down with the lamb against a background of earthly devastation. No Edward Hicks images of unspoiled nature here.

  2. I imagined that today I’d be sitting with the Christmas cards, and writing at least a good portion of them. However, a bit of a migraine prevented me, and the hours went by while I was trying to do something useful when I remembered I hadn’t looked at your Advent meditations for today. “Let’s forget the Christmas cards for a moment and share Advent good wishes with our fellow creatures.”! I looked outside, and sunset was approaching but it was a mild day, in the fifties. I went out, looking for wildlife in the yard; all I saw were birds up in the tree, but I greeted them, and told them Jesus was coming! How timely is God’s influence. I’m getting a lot from this book, and will get one to give my dear friend for next year. Thank you! 🙂

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