Poems for Reflection at Christmas

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(Originally posted on Christmas Eve 2003)

Saturday I picked up a copy of “A Widening Light-Poems of The Incarnation,” (‚© 1984 Luci Shaw) a magnificent collection edited by Luci Shaw. At church the next day our pastor read a poem written to her mother by Lisa Santroch, an elementary school girl from our church. As you prepare for Christmas I thought you might enjoy some poetic reflections.

¢â‚¬¢ After Annunciation by Madeleine L’Engle

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.

¢â‚¬¢ The Nativity by C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis

Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length
Give me an ox’s strength.

Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beast like folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.

Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence!

¢â‚¬¢ Christmas Dream by Eugene Peterson

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.” Matthew 1:20

Amiably at home with virtue and evil
The righteousness of Joseph and Herod’s
Wickedness I’m ever and always a stranger to grace.
I need this annual angel visitation

–this sudden dive by dream into reality
to know the virgin conceives and God is with us.
The dream powers its way through winter weather
And gives me vision to see the Jesus gift.

Light from the dream lasts a year. Through
Equinox and solstice I am given twelve months

of daylight by which to build the crĬche where my
Redeemer lives. The fetus of praise grows

deep in my spirit. As autumn wanes I count
The days until I bear the dream again.

¢â‚¬¢ Made Flesh by Luci Shaw

After the bright beam of hot annunciation
fused heaven with dark earth
his searing sharply-focused light

went out for a while
eclipsed in amniotic gloom:
his cool immensity of splendor
his universal grace
small-folded in a warm dim
female space
the Word stern-sentenced
to be nine months dumb
infinity walled in a womb
until the next enormity the Mighty,
after submission to a woman’s pains
helpless on the barn-bare floor
first-tasting bitter earth.

Now, I in him surrender
to the crush and cry of birth.
Because eternity
was closeted in time
he is my open door
to forever.
From his imprisonment my freedoms grow,
find wings.
Part of his body, I transcend this flesh.
From his sweet silence my mouth sings.
Out of his dark, I glow.
My life, as his,
slips through death’s mesh,
time’s bars,
joins hands with heaven,
speaks with stars.

¢â‚¬¢ Christmas by Lisa Santroch (‚© 2003 Lisa Santroch (Written 2002, edited 2003, written at the age of 11 for her mother)

It was during that Christmas season Ceaser told them to go
But Mary was pregnant, so they had to go very slow
Joseph had planned to divorce Mary quietly
“Don’t do that” said God, and said it emphatically
Bethlehem was crowded, the streets were full
They had to settle in a place even then considered dull
Mary was tired and her heart was thumping
But baby Jesus kept kicking and bumping
Jesus was coming, and he was coming soon
And the shepherds would be amazed by the star near the moon
An angel appeared to the shepherds, and said “I bring you great news”
“And if you listen, you’ll win in the end, not lose”
“But where is this babe of such renown?”
The angel replied “You’ll find him in Bethlehem town
So they started off and said “let’s go”
They went to find the greatest treasure they’d ever know
The shepherds walked, hiked, then started to run
And so did a boy with only his drum
Then the wisemen appeared in a clearing
Along with the camel that they were steering
The shepherds and wisemen bowed down to Jesus
They knew in the end that he would free us
The wisemen knew the babe was special for sure
So they brought him gold, incense and myrrh
As they bowed down and worshipped, and sat there staring
Herod sat in his throne, cussing and swearing
Jesus lay in the stable as the night got colder
But as every minute went by he grew older
He lived through his childhood and in his adulthood
He preached about God and did people good
He healed the deaf, and made blind people see
He made the sad smile with glee
If you’re still wondering what Christmas is for
Just read Matthew and Luke one time more
Sorry to tell you, but this is the end
But ask me later and I’ll read it again!

Posted in Staublog in December 24, 2007 by | No Comments »

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