Joy From the Ash Heap

By Pastor Ed Grant
About 23 years ago while serving a mission congregation in Middletown, New York, we decided to raise funds for missions, the youth, and for our building fund. (We were meeting in a drafty barn at the time.)
Pooling our talents we produced six different cards and sold them in packs of twelve. While the artistic among us drew the covers, collated, and packed the large baggies with cards and envelopes, I was responsible for the poetry and the greetings.
As the rest of the world puts the Christmas decorations
away for another year and considers how to address the
credit card debt, God’s people continue to bask in the afterglow of Christmas, in the fresh joy of the heavenly 
Father’s love, and in the continual hope inspired by the
Spirit’s presence in and among us. This contrast finds expression in the poem. 
“Joy from the Ash Heap”
Words without voices, notes without tunes,
Songs from a world by its struggles consumed;
Lonely though many, empty with much,
Aching for friendship yet fearful of touch,
Wanting a reason to trust. Light pierces darkness – shadows take flight.
Heaven has sent us a herald this night!
Words borne by voices, clear and so sweet;
Melodies ringing, choirs repeat: God sends His own Prince of Peace! 
Praise in the highest, sing all the earth!
Praise the One born now bestowing new birth!
Love fills the vacant, life floods the heart,
Heavenly hope to the waiting imparts; Spirit reviving each part.
E. Grant, 1995
PS: I’ll gladly share copies of the other poems to all who request them.