This is the first in a series of poems about Christmas, this Christmas. Through the framing device of the five Advent candles that mark the progression of the season in various Christian traditions, they will attempt to speak the truth about Christmas in congregant care, both to and from those experiencing it.


Candles aren’t allowed here
Not even at Christmastime
There are too many bodies
Making this group home a home.
Everything is risky,
These days, and that is why
Everyone is home this year
For Christmas without candles.
We have those lights that flicker
We have the fireplace channel
But those can’t keep us warm
So let’s do something else.
If we can’t light the candles
Or go to church to see them
We’ll have to be the candles
And say our names out loud:
I. Faith

Sometimes it seems like all
We’ve done this year is try
To keep the virus out
And look! We mostly have. 
We have faith that this won’t last
That this sickness will end
In glory, not in death, but
We know sometimes they’re the same.
We have lost so many friends
But we have faith that Jesus
Knows just where to find them
And there’s nowhere he won’t go.
One candle is list beside three unlit candles.  There is greenery around the candles and a bouquet of flowers in the background.
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

About Mike Bonikowsky

Mike Bonikowsky lives and works in Dufferin County, Ontario. He is a direct support professional with the local Association for Community Living and spends the rest of his time raising two young children. He has been living and working with men and women with developmental disabilities since 2007. His book Red Stuff is available at

One Thought on “Advent – Faith

  1. Лариса on December 3, 2020 at 12:45 am said:

    And then Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Just imagine. You’re going to see your older relative, and you’re filled with this news that might be from God and also might have been a dream and might mean the end of your marriage that hasn’t even begun, and might mean your death (you could be stoned for having sex outside of marriage in those days). So, you, Mary, have no idea how to tell Elizabeth or what she will say. Maybe she will think you’re losing your mind and hallucinating. Maybe she will shun you like your religion says she should. Maybe however she responds will be a signal of how the rest of the world will respond. So Mary gets there, and she doesn’t say anything to Elizabeth about being pregnant. She simply says hello. As soon as she says hello, Elizabeth says, “Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Elizabeth, without knowing that an angel has visited, without knowing any of the details, echoes the words the angel has spoken.

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