December 1, 2020

Advent II: The Grass Withers

Second Sunday of Advent
December 4, 2012

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

Prayer of the Day
Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming strengthen us to serve you with purified lives; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it… (Isa. 40:7)

• • •

sonnet for advent II

“the grass withers,” and in these shrinking days
my yard will take its rest ‘neath wintry skies
i’ve yet to clear the last few fallen fronds
i hesitate to cut all autumn ties
though we have had hard frost, even some snow
yet still i find i’m loathe to rise and act
unhook the hose and pack the porch away
submit to cussed cold and stubborn fact
but god’s cruel breath sweeps in from northern climes
and pummels all my futile protests down
resigned, i pull on gloves and don my hood
i grab the rake and scrape the brittle brown
across the yard a squirrel unearths, retrieves
a morsel buried ‘neath the withering leaves


  1. I went out into the Dallas, yes Dallas(i.e. 45 and rainy), winter yesterday with my wife to pull out the fall flowers; give a final pruning to some overgrown shrubs and generally clean up the mess. I told her that it had its own beauty. The removal, that is. The finality brought a sense of serenity that comes with a completed work. There will be no more trimming. That’s it. Old age. Final phase. Peace. Quiet. Rest. Kinda puttin it away for another season. There is an odd appeal in the absence and the poverty.