My place atop the Christmas tree may seem a lofty place for me, but humbly, I point down below through greenery and lights aglow to manger scene that holds the Christ who paid the price in sacrifice for every woman, man, and child – this perfect Lamb – this undefiled Rescuer, Redeemer, God I represent, and richly laud.
Written in response to Walt Wojtanik’s prompt at Poetic Bloomings to write about Christmas from the point of view of an inanimate object.If you look closely, you can see the cross that tops my Christmas tree.
The last twenty four hours – bearer of agonizing anguish and hideous horror. Had I known what was to come, I would have stayed away – far away from you.
And I would have safeguarded myself from this enslaving loss. I would have listened to your compelling lessons – your world-altering truths. But I would have kept my distance
… and I, I would have sat not at your feet, but the foot of the hill. I’d have sought your perfect rest, but not at your breast.
And I can’t think of Judas and how you knew. You knew. And how Peter did just as you said – denied you. Three times denied you, and I … I wouldn’t have believed it.
The others you called, scattered. Frightened. Confused. Afraid for their lives, perhaps. And I, myself, afraid.
But the women … oh, the women … how they were there for you today along Golgotha’s way! They wiped your wounded face listened to your howls of pain watched your mother’s horror wailed until your life left and your silence spilled.
But the women remained (chained to image and sound that will never be loosed) – produced a ceaseless cry.
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” ~ Matthew 21:1-5
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” ~ Isaiah 7:14
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” ~ Matthew 1:18-23
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” ~ Matthew 1:21
Never Have I Ever is a party game, where one says, “Never have I ever ___.” (fill in the blank) Those who have actually done that thing lose a point. Out of points? Out of game.
I’ll go first. Never have I ever seen early-voting lines, let alone those that extend for blocks, for days.
Now, how many of you are still in the game?
Truth is, it’s not a game. The stakes are high. The views, dissimilar.
What do you see in the distance? Hope? Fear? A kinder country? Loss of freedoms? Peace? Chaos?
Don’t answer that. Because, you know, never have I ever witnessed a greater loss of kindness and respect in discussions.
But, there is a vanishing point where the look-back perspectives align. Then we will see, and smile at the vanity of it all.
In the greater distance, I see celestial shores. No lines needed. We will know for the first time what it actually feels like to be united. To have no doubts in our King’s kindness, love, and justice. We will know for the first time what it actually feels like to be equal children of the Living God. To be home.
Never have I ever longed more deeply for a non-foreign Shore.