“And he did what was evil
in the sight of the lord”
That common epitaph like a pall
Hung over the memory of most
The kings of Israel and Judah
That country of schism
with ‘covenant, calling and charter’
To be a light to the myriad of nations
Grasping and feeling
their way through the darkness

Weary and short of breath
a watching world doubts
and laughs at the promises
“Their kings also set up high places
Offered sacrifice of strange fire”
and even children
So the light darkened and became a
mirror to the darkness –
another stumbling block

But in the nursery
of Israel’s greatest King
Bethlehem heralds
a change in regime

The remnant reduced
to one faithful Israelite
Royal keeper of the covenant,
suffering servant,
and light to the nations
Born in a manner
worthy of his people
No room in the inn,
instead a stable
Not an infant’s throne,
but a manger
A life of lowliness to
lift his broken subjects
And His reign knows no end

The rest of the poems from Rusten Harris’s Advent series on Moss Kingdom:
IncarnationChristmas EveKingsSome Kind of GloryChainsGiftsQuotidian CoupleA Thousand LightsEve & MaryTreasured UpChristmasWinter StavesThe GloriasCherubimJosephStrange RedeemerWombMagiTemple TroughAdventLord’s DayFar as the Curse is FoundJubileeThe Massacre of the InnocentsLiturgical Time

Other Advent poems on Moss Kingdom:

December 21: an Advent poem for the Winter SolsticeOf Edmund and AslanTiptoe HopeThe Second Coming by William Butler Yeats