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Invitation to Poetry: Sharing Our Deepest Joy

Welcome to our Poetry Party #42!

I am posting this week’s Poetry Party since the third week of Advent begins today! I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. Add them in the comments section and a link to your blog (if you have one).  Make sure to check the comments for new poems added and I encourage you to leave encouraging comments for each other either here or at the poet’s own blog.

Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog if you have one and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post and full credit is given – © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts)


Poetry Party Theme: Sharing Our Deepest Joy

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
-Zep 3:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in God always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
-Phil 4:4-7


For this third week of the season of Advent I am hosting a Poetry Party to invite you to help break open the meaning of the sacred texts among us.  In a time of year when we are told that our happiness is to be found through excessive consumption, the first two scripture readings speak of a deeper joy – a rejoicing of the heart which emerges from a place of equanimity, exultation, and profound gratitude for life’s moments.

The Gospel reading from this week calls us to share the fruits of our gladness with generosity and kindness: “The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” (Luke 3:10-18)  Our joy binds us to a responsibility to extend it to others, especially those whom we encounter who have nothing.  Happiness may allow us to rest comfortably on our own, joy calls us into the world.

Do you remember the profound and un-self-conscious joy you experienced as a child?  When delight erupted from your deepest self in carefree moments?  How are you being invited in your most joyful moments to share beyond your most intimate circle?

I invite you to write a poem this week describing the deeper joy of Advent – deeper than mere happiness – and to describe when you listen to that joy, what is your call into the world that emerges from its heart?

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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20 Responses

  1. not knowing what your poetry-writing theme was, I wrote this last night:

    scampering through the fence
    a busy squirrel–
    intent to not forget
    where simple joys are hidden.

    Bette Norcross Wappner (b’oki)

  2. Is my joy in here somewhere,
    Though I see only darkness and sorrow?
    Like water snaking through stone and earth,
    I find laughter.

    I place my hands in Mary’s lap,
    And here receive sweet embrace.
    This ancient source that draws so many,
    I find grace.

    The well is full!
    The well is full!

  3. joy

    small fingers tickling the ivories
    singing Christmas carols
    while the lights twinkle like stars
    calling the wise men to play
    and the ornaments twirl like halos
    on the heads of mischievous angels
    and the bread bakes filling the house
    with the smell of family
    and I sit holding hands
    with my beloved.

  4. Here is my poem:

    Alas, my Lord!
    Do you not mean for me to give away everything?
    Do you not call me to joyfully give of all I have?

    Alas, my Lord!
    You are calling for balance-
    You are calling me to share-
    You are calling me to give a portion of what you have given to me.

    Alas, my Lord!
    By giving one of my coats
    Just one of the two of my blessed coats
    To another

    Alas, my Lord!
    The scales are then even, are they not?

    Alas, my Lord!
    I then wonder, O my Lord!
    Who is the one brought up to balance the scale?

    Me or the other?
    Alas, my Lord!
    Alas, my Lord!
    Alas, my Joy!

  5. Joy Amplified

    I see you as my children
    I give you my life
    I toil for your benefit
    You are my joy (1 Thes 2)

    I see you as my brothers
    I watch you stand firm
    I long for your encouragement
    You are my joy (Phil 4)

    I see you as my children
    I watch as you live
    I rejoice in your truthfulness
    You are my joy (3 John 1)

    I see you as my brothers
    I watch you under fire
    I see your faith bring patience
    You are my joy (Jam 1)

    I see your incapacity
    I serve you in your need
    my life sacrificed for yours
    You are my joy as I am yours

    I see you as my branches
    I watch you bear fruit
    I abide in you as you in me
    I am your joy (John 15)

  6. Father of two without a job
    We meet for a common goal.
    He needs his GED
    It’s his next step
    for opportunities
    for further education
    for pride and self-esteem.
    I know he can do this
    I’ve witnessed it many times.
    Sacred joy connects us.

  7. Dear Christine, Thank you for mentioning the lectionary texts for this week’s Poetry Party. I want to thank you, too, for putting me onto Jan Richardson’s blog “The Advent Door” last year. There, she reflects on the lectionary texts in profound ways, both in her words and in her art.

    Here is my haiku for Gaudete Sunday:

    May I speak your Hope
    Saturate me with your Word
    Joy be on my lips!

  8. There is in this 3rd Sunday of Advent where even the color on the candle of the Advent wreath changes, a kind of: we’re almost there moment. Gaudete Sunday. We see a new color. O Come O Come Emanuel has a belief to it. Wise men have been on this journey for so long, yet we only meet them after the birth. John wants that path straight for Jesus. The extra cloak is a room not a stable. Be still and and know that I Am God.