An Advent Sonnet -- A Great Poem by Waldo Beach

Professor Beach was a Professor Emeritus at Duke Divinity School when I was there.  He wrote this poem that I will forever remember as Christmas approaches, and, now, as I look back at it.  The poem is "Advent Sonnet" and is found in his book Christmas Praise.

On coming to Christmas, misled, we forget
That the birth of God’s son was not lovely at all.
A stench filled the gloom of the bleak manger stall.
There was blood on the straw and a halo of sweat
Around Mary’s head.  Soon, warned they should flee
To escape Herod’s sword, by stealth in the night
The family of God was driven to flight,
As from Bethlehem’s inn outcast, refugee.

But as birth of new life is sprung out of pain,
And faith out of fear, so now once again,
If we come to the stable by way of the cross
And dismantle our spirits of tinsel and dross,
We can join with glad hearts and exuberant voice
To sing with the heavenly choir, “Rejoice!”