The Advent of the Adventure


The Advent of the Adventure

The story goes that
a baby was born and
placed in bin where
the animals fed

Shepherds were awed
Mystics from the East
gave him expensive gifts
(but nothing practical)

The time leading
up to this event
is for considering
whether we’re ready

Ready to go on
the adventure once more
To seek justice, love kindness,
and walk humbly with our God

Ready to hear stories
from the man with the plan
who ran afoul of authorities
and, like Mandela, was

a prisoner of conscience
Unlike Mandela, he was
executed by the State in
the most humiliating way

Are we ready to follow the star?
Are we ready to see the babe?
Most importantly, ask yourself
the question Christmas poses:

Are you so focused on the baby
that you forget the lessons of
the man? If you max your cards
this Advent, the answer is “yes”

Give to charity in his name
Give to a homeless person in his name
Give thanks to God in his name
Give your heart to pursuing justice

…in his name

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Open Link Monday. Now that “Black Friday” and all that mishigoss has passed us by, I still wonder whether the secular Christmas has more meaning for people than the actual event. I don’t care that Jesus was probably born in July; I don’t “need” an immaculate conception or miracles. And I love Winter Solstice celebrations.  But I do take my marching orders from Jesus!

Peace, Amy

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45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. a spirit of simplicity
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 00:04:23

    I like: so focused on the baby you forget the lessons of the man. Very nice.

    Reply

  2. poetrypea
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 00:21:24

    Personally I’m agnostic. Howevrr, I do believe uin the positive messages of Christmas and you have reflected what revolts me about the modern Christmas very well. Good on you.

    Reply

    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 23:41:51

      Hey, I’m married to a UCC pastor, but my daughter is Jewish and agnostic and baptised!! I think all paths lived in love are important, to be valued. Everyone has their own idea of what is sacred, what is true. Most people don’t mention if they are agnostic or atheist because they think, I don’t know, monkeys will come out my butt or whatever. THANKS! Amy

      Reply

  3. Kay, Alberta, Canada
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 01:23:06

    Well, well done, Amy! I love the final stanza. You definitely got that right.
    K

    Reply

  4. Gabriella
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 01:37:32

    I enjoyed your Advent focus, Amy! And especially the last stanza where you invite us to act rather than moan on what people do not do or should do during this festive period.

    Reply

  5. J Cosmo Newbery
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:32:59

    But, whatever, give. A timely call to alms.

    Reply

  6. kaykuala
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 04:52:28

    Whatever handle it is referred to, alms,charity or sacrifice one can only wonder. Those on the brink of survival are the ones who are most generous. But many who have abundance to give are the ones who hold back. They are the ones who ask for more or take for themselves forgetting the homeless and needy. Time to be aware of deprivations in the wake of all the festivities! Great write Amelita!

    Hank

    Reply

  7. brian miller
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 05:18:45

    if we gave…truly gave, not just to our families but those in need, as opposed to spending so much on the illusions of christmas, imagine the world we would have

    Reply

  8. McGuffy Ann
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 07:57:13

    I am a Christian. Everything I do, I do with Him in my mind and heart. I try to walk the walk, in His footsteps. I just did a similar post, because the message of Christmas seems to be tainted these days. Merry Christmas.

    Reply

  9. Mama Zen
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 13:57:34

    Excellent.

    Reply

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 14:47:03

    So much to like here.. and we have certainly shared a lot of similare thoughts on what Advent should be about.. this is marvelous.

    Reply

  11. Victoria C. Slotto
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 14:55:51

    I love it when a read an Advent/Christmas poem that unearths the real meaning of all we celebrate. For me this is such a time for reflecting, for digging deep and going beyond the glitz etc. Great call to action much appreciated.

    Reply

  12. Linda Kruschke
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 14:56:03

    This poem is awesome! We are doing something in my church this Advent season called Advent Conspiracy. I think you would like it. It calls for us to spend less on things and gifts we (and the people we give to) don’t really need, and to give more to those who are in great need. Those are His marching orders, after all. May you be blessed this Advent as you head out on the adventure that Christmas is meant to be. Peace, Linda

    Reply

    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Dec 12, 2013 @ 15:27:31

      LINDA! So glad you are doing The Advent Conspiracy, too. Our kids made banners to coincide with Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, etc. for the Advent candles, and my husband is preaching on the Conspiracy each week during Advent. Amazing things are happening, and this is only the first year. Also, we are a very, very liberal church, and I understand this comes out of a more traditional theology, which proves that we all follow the same God, and nothing else takes precedence over that, right? Amy

      Reply

      • Linda Kruschke
        Dec 12, 2013 @ 15:36:08

        Amy, Yes, we are seeing amazing things – I personally in my own household am seeing amazing things – from this “conspiracy,” which is really a return to what Christmas ought to be about. In my church, we even did our own Advent devotional to go along with the themes of each week. :) Merry Christmas to you and yours! Peace, Linda

  13. anmol(alias HA)
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:10:04

    Great lesson. We often become obsessed with a date, forgetting the most important thing. It reminds me of A Christmas Carol(I have read a written-for-radio version only) and the importance of charity it portrays, like you have, in this powerful piece.

    Reply

  14. ihatepoetry
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:34:48

    I loved this and give a big Amen to this! Loved this Ameleh.

    Reply

  15. margaret
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:57:23

    I do love traditions and the biblical correlations. Gift giving should not overtake this holiday and we have made steps to make sure it does not. Yet – I do love driving around the neighborhoods at night and getting out and walking and seeing the lights and decorations… Something peaceful about it. Love is action – and we are called to “love” – so your poem is spot on.

    Reply

    • Sharp Little Pencil
      Dec 12, 2013 @ 15:34:08

      Margaret, you caught the essence of my poem. I agree, we have a Christmas tree and old homemade decorations, and the lights are lovely. And you are spot on: It’s that overlooking the Message that simply kills me this time of year. Peace, Amy

      Reply

  16. Lisa A. Williams Poetry
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 16:07:37

    How easily it is to forget the true meaning of Christmas. This beautiful poem expresses the true way it should be celebrated. Just lovely!

    Reply

  17. Audrey Howitt
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 16:31:30

    What a beautiful advent prayer Amy—And yes, Amen to this!

    Reply

  18. Dawn Paoletta
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 18:05:12

    Well said. Beautifully written, sometimes hard to live it, yes? Love this one, Amy!

    Reply

  19. The Transcanada Poet
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 18:56:51

    lessons often preached .. but not heard by many… great poem

    Reply

  20. Carver
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 19:59:06

    Very well said!

    Reply

  21. Susan
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 20:17:55

    Wow, Amy, you wound all the curvy tales together so that advent is the challenge to live like the Jesus Christ instead of deifying him in a way that belies his teaching, The giving of time, justice and compassion is a greater part of his pattern.

    Reply

  22. Sherry Blue Sky
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 21:43:47

    Oh I love this, Amy. I am late getting here and see now that you are right, both of our poems touch on the same theme….cool when that happens! An Idea Whose Time Has Come…….I love the idea of giving to the homeless instead of maxing out cards to give to those who already have too much.

    Reply

  23. claudia
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 23:18:56

    nothing practical…ha… made me smile….. love that you point towards him….the reason we celebrate this time…overwhelms me again and again with awe…and yes… it should show in practical ways as well

    Reply

  24. Rowan Taw
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 23:52:31

    Here, here – a great Christmas message and call to engaged actions.

    Reply

  25. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 00:58:36

    A wonderful lesson for Advent. I will try and hang on to it.

    Reply

  26. 1emeraldcity
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 02:02:50

    A great message, well done…particularly like that last stanza :)

    Reply

  27. Steve King
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 05:50:06

    Great message for the season (and for always!) In your finale, you zero in on the true message of the Scripture. Many folks who profess belief should take the time to actually read and internalize it. Fine job.
    Peace…

    Steve K.

    Reply

  28. coalblack
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 06:51:44

    You mean…it;’s not just a shopping extravaganza?!? Who knew?!

    I think you’ll like my latest. We’re on the same wavelength. Again!

    Reply

  29. Teresa
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 09:37:24

    Great reminder!

    Reply

  30. Miss Hannah
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 14:29:20

    Fabulous! Clear away the tinsel to see the shining Star

    Reply

  31. wolfsrosebud
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 14:33:09

    perhaps, it’s the giving people most struggle with… nice view point for the season

    Reply

  32. hisfirefly
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 17:33:27

    Amen. Whatever we do for the least of these, we do for and unto Him.

    Reply

  33. Laura Hegfield
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 18:11:51

    This is beautiful Amy.

    Reply

  34. Jim
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 20:27:41

    “Give alms”
    “Jesus is the reason for the season
    “It’s okay to leave the ‘X’ in Christmas”
    “Please leave the ‘Christ’ Christmas”
    All of these are good reminders of your message, Amy. I like the poem a lot. Very _____ (I lost my word for ‘appropriate’ that fits the current generation).
    ..

    Reply

  35. vivchook
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 05:30:31

    This is a really lovely way to give us a wake-up call, Amy. The modernizing of the scenario, the pragmatism – the expensive, impractical gifts and “Are you so focused on the baby that you forget the lessons of the man?”. This is a valuable lesson for us all, irrespective of our faith or beliefs. Thank you for the reminder, and the challenge.
    And Peace to you, too, Amy. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and all that means to you & yours. And thank you for your support of my novice attempts at solo poetry, and my collaborative work as part of OneVoice Poetry. See you in the New Year. x.Vivienne.xxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply

  36. summerstommy2
    Dec 13, 2013 @ 14:04:43

    Lovely poem, I do like the call to focus on the story rather than the hype around this time of year. Well done.

    Reply

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