category: Poetry

Apocalypse: A Poem on Luke 21:25-36 for Advent 1

By Rachael Keefe

Poem for Advent 1 Luke 21:25-36 Hope Apocalypse

Apocalypse: A Poem on Luke 21:25-36 for Advent 1


polar ice caps melting slowly
ocean waters eating our shores
seasons blending into each other
storms increasing in voracity
foreboding fills those who pay attention

war consumes lives faster than we notice
violence grabs young lives daily
prisoners push the limits of confinement
homeless people grow in numbers everywhere
despair exhausts those who work for change

these could surely be signs of the end 
though I’m not looking for the Son of Man
because these things are not the work of God
global warming, war, poverty are all 
works of human hands

destroying ourselves and our world may appear
to match the description of Armageddon
but if we obliterate ourselves 
will our redemption still draw near?
perhaps it is better to change our ways
than to bring about an apocalypse
not yet meant to be

This poem is from my book, Barefoot Theology, printed in 2013 by Wipf & Stock.

RCL – Year C – Advent 1 – November 28, 2021 – Jeremiah 33:14-16  • Psalm 25:1-10  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13  • Luke 21:25-36

Other posts on these lectionary texts: Hope is At Hand from 2018; Human Ways from 2015; Lulu Get out of the Tree from 2012.

You Might Also Be Interested in this Advent Book

From the back cover: This book invites the reader to experience Advent as a spiritual journey to Bethlehem, a journey from darkness to light. Each week explores the traditional themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that are present throughout the season. It begins on the first Sunday of Advent inviting the reader to be open to new or unexpected encounters with God, to find the mystery and wonder so often missed in day-to-day life. Each daily meditation offers a poetic, insightful reflection on scripture verses that voice the human spirit’s longing for the Holy Spirit–the continued struggle to find light in a dark world. As the journey unfolds, the reader will walk through the cold bleakness of the winter season and the bitterness of despair, guided by the hope, peace, joy, and love promised in Christ, fulfilled on Christmas Day.

“These Advent meditations are the most challenging, creative, and meaningful ones ever published. Rachael Keefe integrates her biblical knowledge, her pastoral and prophetic perspectives, her psychological and spiritual understanding of persons, and her own life’s pilgrimage to offer profound insights and challenges for our spiritual journey through Advent. Anyone’s Advent will be enriched and made more meaningful by interacting with Keefe’s soul and mind in the meditations.” —Merle Jordan, Emeritus Professor, Boston University School of Theology

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image description: a feminine-looking hand with light skin is holding a copy of A Circle in the Dark; the cover has four low candles burning in darkness
image description: a slender hand with light skin is holding a copy of A Circle in the Dark; the cover has four low candles burning in darkness
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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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