Hope you are well and not too crazy on this Christmas Eve.
Here’s what I’ve found.
Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)
2:1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2:2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
2:3 All went to their own towns to be registered.
2:4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
2:5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
2:6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.
2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
2:8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
2:9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
2:11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
2:12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
2:16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
2:17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
2:18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
2:19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Even if one of the women hadn’t nearly delivered
her seven-pound baby girl right on the front porch,
I surely would have been writing this poem.
A poem about ill-timed gifts
and no place like home
and what a fine mess we’ve got into this time.
A poem about the coming of Christmas.
It’s impossible to live so near the homeless heart
and not think a lot about Christmas.
journey alone on dark and rocky roads
without resources, without reservations
burdened with child and child and child.
Longing for a place—just a space—to be
. . . to become.
Having so little, yet entrusted with so much,
like Mary, they carry the weight of the world.
And the hope.
They wait. They listen.
To the angel voice that first pulled them here
to the side streets of Bethlehem,
to the presence that now pulls them on toward home.
These Marys don’t know that their lives are a poem,
an acting out of the Christmas story,
and I don’t suppose it would matter much to them anyhow.
But daily they teach me
of the unexpected arrivals of grace
the mysterious disguises of God
the surprise of the coming.
I wrote this story-poem when I lived at Providence House, a collective of homes for women and children who are navigating major transitions. As I ponder again the words of the angel, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God,” I am reminded of the courage it takes to listen and say ‘yes’ to one’s own journey, to believe we are one of God’s favorites among favorites, especially when we have been sorely wounded by things like homelessness, imprisonment, shame, broken trust. Here we are—each of us a poem of the incarnation, if we will just let God have God’s impossible/possible way. May it be so for all of us this year. May it yield blessing for our world. – Love, Kayla
By: Kayla McClurg
Season and Scripture: Advent B, Luke
The Christmas story
It’s the Christmas story told by children from St Paul’s Church in New Zealand.
I loved the sheep and take note of the 3 Kings, especially the one on the left.
Never Too Late
It is no use to say that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks, with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers and suburban housewives that he gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that he longs for shelter. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ.
The House of Christmas
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.
This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.
GK Chesterton (1874–1936)