Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Poem

Tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. God will be our Guide forever. (Psalm 48.13-14)

God, our Maker and Minder,
You bring us to the manger and show us
The full extent of Your love—
Its fragile humanity
            Heard in the hushed beats
            Of a tiny, newborn heart
Its uncontested divinity
            Witnessed in blinding majesty
            As time’s curtain divides

To reveal You fast at work
Delivering on pledges made long, long ago
To a people whose only Hope was You—
Their one and only God
            In a world of many gods
            And many, many excuses for inventing gods
Their one and only Truth
            In a time of fearful imaginings
            And convenient falsehoods

We gaze into a barnyard crib
At glittering dark eyes
That already know all that can be known
Yet long to learn from us
            To see through our eyes
            To search our hearts inside out
Eyes to pierce our veils of pride and illusion
            Finding us in our despair and discontent
            Looking beyond our boasts to uncover our banality

We touch the tender olive skin
Of peace and love made real and ready
Eternal Word woven into timebound flesh to live with us
Here, now, always, forever—alive in us
Flesh come to die in our stead
To rid us of remorse
Flesh come to conquer death
            On our behalf, triumphant
            To rid us of resistance

At manger-side, we glance into the stares
Of exhausted young parents
Greatly relieved their secret
Can now be told—and will be told
            Again and again and again and again
            In language any child can understand
A secret so simple and pure
            That we will tell it over and over
            Struggling to comprehend how it can be

O God, our Maker and Minder,
In kindness, You made us and now
You have made Yourself like us
Gathering a family of choice
            A new people of welcome and trust
            A new lineage of unsurpassed love and grace
You, the Child, invite us to become Your children
            To begin again and find a new way
You alone can carve in us

You, the Child, smile knowingly,
Hold out Your tiny, not-yet-scarred hand
And say

Follow Me.

                                                —Christmas, 2012

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