In Sheer Joy

Ice Dawn by William Hays (Colour Linocut, 2010)

O LORD, sheer joy with you,
Israel, in exile Homeward bound
From among a people of strange tongue
Gone forth in sheer joy

Shouting Hallelujah!
Out of Egypt have I gone forth with you,
True and Faithful by name
In sheer Joy!

How heavy the moment
Is with eternity, Lord Jesus,
Yet each flows after the other
Like water escaping
The hand that captures
The eyes that see
The thoughts that would knot
Them into a jeweled chain
To be adorned not as memory
But as presence

Cradled birth, my life in your hands:
Tenderly kept as shepherd with lamb
Hurrying at angelic proclamations of peace
Heavens ringing hallelujahs
Your delight brooding over the waters
Breaking over this new life, moments Spirit-born

When come the magi bearing each —
On a camel fresh out of the box
Of ornaments and sweet scents
Frankincense and myrrh unpacked —
Mystery like knots unraveling sheer

Joy, O Lord! You give each new
Moment flowing rapidly bringing you
Nearer, sheer joy as I await the
Long-awaited coming in sheer joy!

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