In preparation for Lent 2015 I’ve written the following poem, to be shared during the 02/15 Worship Service at the UU Fellowship of Redwood City. You are welcome to share it with attribution – and I’d love to hear from you, if you do!

by the Reverend Stefanie Etzbach-Dale, January 3, 2015

The tales passed on of “love divine”
From every place and age,
Have helped to shape the lives of all:
the sinner, saint and sage!

Woven through the calendar,
As beacons through the year,
They bring attention annually
To all, that should be dear!

The miracles of life and hope,
Of purpose found and filled,
Of undeserv-ed grace and joy,
Fears, held, known and stilled!

Today we lift up for you all
The time revered by those,
For whom the Christian calendar
Points to an “end” of woes!

We do this ’cause there’s wisdom there
That cannot be denied,
For those who dip their hearts into
Love’s sources, deep and wide.

The story of the humble stable
in which a babe was born,
Gives way, in spring, to him – “a man”,
Mocked with a crone of thorns.

And in-between his life was lived
Beneath the same blue sky,
To which we still cast ponderings
Pained queries, and goodbyes.

What happened in his early years
No one can say for sure,
But stories of his last few weeks
Can captivate and lure!

The days of Lent now coming soon,
Encourage each to feel,
The power of his struggles then
And so, to make them – real!

To feel “within” just what it takes
To love with all your heart,
And willingly to sacrifice,
let something “better” start!

As years passed by, the custom rose
To grant a “final fling”,
Before austerity and discipline
The “conscience dark” could wring

With masks and costumes, feathers fine
With food and wine galore,
The people danced out in the streets
With song and raucous roar!

Such wild abandon you may think
Is “counter-intuitive”,
Yet oft’ it leads to thoughts refined
And spiritually lucrative!


In just a moment, here and now,
The children will appear,
To gather up donations brought
To help those, far and near!

Lift up your hands, then sing along
If you have brought good cheer!
You children, come, collect these goods
And bring them up, right here!

Join me then, as we explore
The things we love, and so adore!
Cause that’s what’s needed, yes it’s true,
To live up to our own world view!

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