A poem for Christmas 2021

Happy Christmas to you all. It’s been a difficult year for so many, in so many ways, and at times it’s been hard to see light in the darkness. This poem, by Jan Richardson, has helped me and so I’m sharing it with you in hope that ‘the blessed light’ might seek you out and bring you joy and peace.

How the Light Comes, by Jan Richardson

I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know is
that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body,
for finding its way
toward flesh,
for tracing the edges
of form,
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not foresee.

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still

to the blessed light
that comes.

—Jan Richardson
“How the Light Comes” appears in Jan’s new book Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons.

Author: clarehayns

College Chaplain and Welfare Coordinator of Christ Church, Oxford | Mum of three boys | wife of a juggler and magician | Council of Reference of ZANE - http://www.zane-zimbabweanationalemergency.com | enjoys board games, dog walking, films, eating out.

12 thoughts on “A poem for Christmas 2021”

  1. May the light be with you through the coming year and may it lighten those darkest places that haunt our very souls.

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      1. A beautiful poem, Clare. Closely with you, this Christmas – wish we could all be together, but with you within the Light. Much love from us all,
        David, Jill, Pete, Helen, Isla and Dougal

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  2. The Light is within us He’s is In us – when we turn to Christ we are Accepted Secure and Significant in Him The Beloved. This poem made me think of of all the people who feel/ think God is a long way. Jesus is the Light of the World.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  3. Thanks Clare,

    And a blessed Christmas season to you all.

    Annie X

    Anne Champness

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  4. Clare,

    Thank you for sharing this. It truly points to hope in the darkness.

    God keep you and yours well this New Year,

    Love in Christ, Karen Ables

    On Fri, Dec 24, 2021 at 12:31 AM Consider the Lilies wrote:

    > clarehayns posted: ” Happy Christmas to you all. It’s been a difficult > year for so many, in so many ways, and at times it’s been hard to see light > in the darkness. This poem, by Jan Richardson, has helped me and so I’m > sharing it with you in hope that ‘the blessed light’ mig” >

    Like

  5. Hi Clare,

    I don’t know if this reply will reach you but I want to say thank you for sharing this poem. In turn, I have shared it (with the attribution) on the Facebook Long Covid support groups that I belong too. So many people have found it comforting and uplifting. One lady even said it had prompted her to walk down to her church. 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Denise Colliver

    On Fri, 24 Dec 2021 at 08:31, Consider the Lilies wrote:

    > clarehayns posted: ” Happy Christmas to you all. It’s been a difficult > year for so many, in so many ways, and at times it’s been hard to see light > in the darkness. This poem, by Jan Richardson, has helped me and so I’m > sharing it with you in hope that ‘the blessed light’ mig” >

    Like

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