Friday, December 7, 2012

Second Cup—Christmas poem

Several years ago I started writing a poem as part of our annual Christmas letter. Usually this poem grows out of the reading the lectionary texts for the year. Often, I sneak ahead to the Advent and Christmas readings, seeking inspiration, which is usually rewarded.

This year's Christmas poem is rooted in an earlier text from those leading up to the end of the last lectionary year, culminating in this powerful, ironic, multi-layered paradoxical confrontation between Pilate and Jesus. Juxtaposed with the messianic prophecies of Advent and the humility of the Incarnation:


It’s all Currier & Ives and countless
other mock ups: The snow falls and the
darkness softens. Silence reigns—even
the animals softly low.

It is gently lighted by glowing candle or
aura radiating from the manger filled
with clean straw and perfectly formed boy.

There is warmth here.

The oh-so-familiar scene lies before us:
the one who comes to set the crooked
straight, the narrow wide and the bound
free, lies here, lovely and beautiful.

There is dissonance here.

We live in contradictions.
We bow to an upside down world we see
as right side up in dark mirrors only:

dim reflection of what is meant. Like
Plato’s chained, we hold to the shadows
killing those who offer sun.

King is your word.”


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