An Advent Poem

Meditation on Isaiah 9

by Joshua Banner
Unto us a child is born
unto all of us
unto the widow
unto the homeless
the addict
the AIDS patient
unto us the football captain
and the drag queen
unto us the politician
the factory blue collar

us the single mother
the crack baby
and unto us the affluent suburbanite
unto us the Goth
the hippie
the rocker
the alternative and underground
unto us in Hollywood and on Madison Avenue
and unto all of us in between
unto us in the gutters of Calcutta
unto the Muslim
and the Jew
the Buddhist

the Krishna and the Hindu
unto us the fatherless
unto the heavenly fatherless

For unto us a child is born
a son is given
and a secret revolution begun.
This is what the prophets had been preparing for.

They said his name would be,
“Most Beautiful Wisdom”
“the Highest of Heaven’s Secrets”

his name would be
“the God who continually bends over backwards for you”
“the God who gets down on his hands and knees”
“the God who would become silly and mis-understood”
“the God who would be mocked- - the God whose name
would be taken in vain.”

He would be called
“the God of underdogs”

“the God of the powerless and unspiritual”

“the God of those who cannot pray or fast”

And there would be no end to him and his

underdog weaklings or their secret

there would be no end even

while the nations continue to rage on

even as ethnos rises against ethnos

even as valleys are filled with dead bones

and rivers run with blood

even as violence runs through our streets

and schools and hearts

covering us like a thick fog

Even in this dark land of weak people

the God who bends over backwards

will shine forth like a great light

as the dawning of a new day

letting his secret spread forth with healing and joy.


So drop the mirror and let it shatter

Crush the hourglass and stop the clocks ticking

stand still

hold your breath


your wildest dreams.

Sell everything and buy the farm

Come with me, cover your eyes and hold out your hands

stop your weeping

stop your groans

the fast is over.


Let the celebration begin

the father has come

He has sent his son

Unto us He has been born

even unto us.