Advent Prayer in Waiting

The moment of our Savior’s Birth draws near and joy is on the horizon. A poetic and prayerful  meditation:


Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And enfleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her,
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment, and awe,
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness, whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food, that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer,
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw


©2010 Joann Nelander


The Lights of Advent Keep Vigil

Adventskranz Porzellan

Advent candles lit within my being,
Prayer like a torch,
Calling on the Spirit,
To light the lamp of vigil
And illuminate my soul.

Thanksgiving, a spotlight,
Setting blessings all aglow,
While praise as a million votives
Ring Your manger in the night.

Though my soul be steeped in sorrow,
For the sin that went before,
My tears You turn to shining crystal
As the sea before Your throne.

O, Sun of Justice,
In Heaven you replace the shining stars.
Banish all darkness here below,
As  once Your Star lit Earth’s long night

Alight all holiness,
As a rainbow green with Life,
Arches ’bout the celestial throne,
While incandescent angels
Sing with halo-headed saints.

Because You come,
This earthy life’s tomorrows
Are bedecked in Hope
As You knock at ready virgins’ door,

The Promise ever before me,
You stand, an open door.
I, now, Bold Abandonment,
Before the throne of grace,

Sainted souls gleaming like electrum
Flashing love’s arrows as lightning.
Advent becomes Christmas in my soul.

By Joann Nelander


Brink of Eternity

Good morning, Jesus.
Here we are again,
At the beginning of a new day.

Can you feel me?
Here I am in Your Great Heart,
Reaching for You with my heart.

I feel Your eyes upon me.
You are perfume to my senses.
You are the touch of sweetness
I taste wafting on the breeze of Spirit.

You sound in my heart
With the beating of Yours.
Ever near, ever dear, everlasting,
Song of my soul.

Good morning, my Jesus.
Hold me here,
On the brink of eternity.

©2014 Joann Nelander

In Praise

Praise like cascading waters, like rushing rivers,

Praise like flying birds, and flight of eagles.

Praise like thundering herds cross vast expanse.

Praise written cross skies in clouds and drifting mists.

Praise with the quaking aspen. Praise golden and blissful.

Praise to the heavens, to the highest heavens.

Heartfelt and hallowed, on angels’ wings and from the mouths of babes.

Hush; listen in silence.
Creation, on tip toe, peering beyond Time to Eternity.

Time poised on the brink of the Eternal, awaiting Your Word.

Praise from the heart, one poor and yearning heart.

Come, O Immortal. Come!
By Joann Nelander

Grounded in the Glorious

O, You, Who gladden Day,
Send my roots deep into Your Heart,
Which is entwined with mine,
Alive in my soul,
That glorious place at my center,
Lit by Your Presence and Your Light,
And which by grace is eternal,
Never to go out.

Extend my branches
As willowy arms,
Reaching to the heavens,
Branches of You, the Tree of Three,
Destined to support your nestlings,
Becoming home to a universe of creatures,
Each living Your purpose
In its precious destiny.

O, my Beloved,
Ground of my being,
Sharing the mysterious I Am,
And naming me,
Calling forth the clay that be,
To take on immortality.

I am all “Fiat” and gratitude,
As Son to Father live the Spirit,
One, All in all,and Heart, my Three.

©2011 Joann Nelander


From a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop Do whatever they tell you, but do not follow what they do

From a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop Do whatever they tell you, but do not follow what they do

Shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. But what are the shepherds to hear? Thus says the Lord God: Behold I myself am over the shepherds, and I will claim my sheep from their hands.

Hear and learn, you sheep of God. God calls for an accounting of his sheep from the wicked shepherds and inquires into the death of his sheep at their hands. For in another passage he speaks through the same prophet: Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. You shall hear the word from my mouth and you shall point out the way to them in my name. When I say to the sinner: You shall die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked man from his wicked way, because of his wickedness he shall die, but you shall be held responsible for his death. If, however, you warn the wicked man to turn away from his wickedness, and he fails to do so, he shall die in his iniquity, but you shall have saved your soul.

Dear brothers, what does this mean? Do you see how dangerous it is to keep silent? The sinner dies and rightly so; he dies in his wickedness and in his sin, for his failure to heed you has killed him. He could have found the Lord, the living shepherd who says: I live. But he was heedless; and the one appointed for this task, the watchman, did not warn him. The wicked one then justly suffers death and the watchman rightly suffers damnation. But the Lord says, if you say to the wicked man: You shall surely die, and if he fails to heed the sword of judgment with which I have threatened him, that sword will overtake and kill him, and he will die in his sin; but you will have saved your soul. Therefore it is our task not to keep silent, and it is your task, even if we ourselves are silent, to hear the words of the shepherd from the Scriptures.

I have said that he will take the sheep from the bad shepherds and give them to shepherds who are good. Let us consider whether he does so. I see him taking the sheep from the bad shepherds, when he says: Behold, I myself am over the shepherds, and I will claim my sheep from their hands; and I will turn away from them so that they may not pasture my sheep, and the shepherds shall no longer give pasture. For when I say: “Let them pasture my sheep,” they give pasture to themselves and not to my sheep. Therefore, I will turn away from them so that they may not pasture my sheep. How does the Lord turn away from them to keep them from pasturing his sheep? Do whatever they tell you, but do not follow what they do. It is as if he said: “The words they say are mine, but their deeds are their own.” If you do not follow the example of the bad shepherds, they are not giving you pasture. But if you do what they say, it is I who am feeding you.”