Mary’s Sonnet

Mother and Child
Mother and Child

Mary’s Sonnet

Gently and beautifully, she tips her brow
Down t’wards the babe while at her breast he sleeps.
She moves beyond the joy to wonder how
Love strikes so deeply ’tis pain, and she weeps.
Her eyes drink in the beauty of his hands,
His feet, his face – so small, perfect, her own.
In her heart, she cannot conceive the sands
Of years changing babe to man, birth to grown.
The heavn’s dance as angels shout the birth
Of pure love. The stars and seas cry joy.
And even the God smiles and sings for earth.
All time and space celebrates her small boy.
Eternity is pressed in this one night
As she lies bathed in Emmanuel’s light.

____________________________

Dance with the angels!
Shout with the stars!
Messiah has come,
and with Him
faith
hope
love.

Another Newborn Babe

Long ago and far away, on a deeply dark night and after a weary day of travel, a young woman labored long to deliver her son into the world.

He rushed forth from her womb, leaving behind its warmth and safety to enter a world of both pain and love, joy and sorrow, birth and death – just like other newborn babes.

Someone scooped him up, wiped him clean, bundled him tightly, and lay him at his mother’s breast – just like other newborn babes.

Someone named him, held him, gazed at him lovingly, and brought him home to safety and warmth – just like other newborn babes.

Someone counted his fingers, counted his toes, stroked his delicate skin, fingered his silken hair, marveled at his quivering eyelashes, and traced his perfect face – just like other newborn babes.

Someone basked in the glow of new life, marveled at this bundle of humanity, and rejoiced in his miraculous breathing, wiggling, yawning, crying, sleeping, and eating – just like other newborn babes.

But this was not just another newborn babe.

This was Mary’s child. The carpenter’s boy. The son of God.

This was God himself, come to earth as a helpless babe, rushing forth from Mary’s womb – the Creator of everything, reduced to this wiggling, yawning, crying, sleeping, eating infant.

Jesus certainly was not just another newborn babe.

But because he willingly became a newborn babe, and then willingly went to the cross for all of humanity, we are offered life that only He can give – the kind of life where Jesus now washes us clean, names us, holds usnumbers the hairs on our head, and basks lovingly in the miracle of our new life – just like other born anew babes.

Breathe deeply and rejoice both in the miracle of newborn life and life born anew because there is nothing “just” about either one – for the first is undeservedly miraculous and the second is miraculously undeserved.

a theology of babes

Photo Credit: Melissa Hassey (melissahassey.com)
Photo Credit: Melissa Hassey (melissahassey.com)

Babies are my grounding point. When I need a visible and tangible reminder of God’s majesty, deity, splendor, creativity, love – even very existence – I find it there: living, breathing, crying, wiggling, squirming, sucking, sleeping, breathtaking babies.

Those fingers. Those toes. Those eyelashes, like spun silken strands in miniature.

That hair. That nose. That skin, like softened velvet robes in space.

Who can comprehend the miracle? Who can fathom the process? Who can understand the astonishing surprise of human life appearing in such a thoroughly helpless yet perfect bundle of being?

And most of all: who can grasp the unimaginable truth that Almighty God, Creator of the universe, would willingly choose such a form for His greatest work of all – the rescue of mankind from itself?

Christ, the living babe. The helpless, living, breathing, crying, wiggling, squirming, sucking, sleeping, breathtaking babe.

The incarnated Word.

God in flesh.

Majesty on earth.

Love embodied.

It boggles the mind (if one really thinks about it). It astounds the senses (if one really absorbs it). It overwhelms the soul (if one really believes it).

Oh my word, what could be more startling? (There is nothing like it.)

Oh my Word, who could be more salvific? (There is no one like You.)

Amen.

[Here is quite certainly the most delightful Christmas pageant ever. I’d be mightily surprised if this video of children-as-sheep, children-as-wisemen, children-as-stars, and children-as-holy-family didn’t make you smile broadly and cry joyfully.]

the Word became flesh

Confession: I own too many books. Not just a few too many, or some too many. A lot too many.

Someone keeps saying it’s a problem.

I keep not listening.

So when I got an email today from one of my literature students with “book tree” in the subject line, I was intrigued. I thought it might be some kind of narrative thematic diagram resembling a family tree, which would be pretty cool.

But it wasn’t.

It was an idea. For a book tree. (Go figure.) Made out of books. To look like a tree. You know, for Christmas and all.

Which was so much cooler than cool I can’t even put it into words.

This email, and the resulting fervor it whipped up in my soul, is precisely why I don’t Pin. I would forfeit my life to this and that and such-and-such and so-and-so and ladeedahdeedoo and pretty soon I would be a crazy person who only converses with glue sticks and rotary cutters.

Truly.

Proof positive is that I spent several hours tonight constructing this:

Photo: CKirgiss
“The Word became flesh.”

It was a lot more work than I expected. The light schematic is pathetic. In a few places, I had to jerryrig shims of folded paper to keep things level. I didn’t know how to finish it off. I made a mess of my bookshelves.

But oh my, I am delighted. Beyond words. Because not only do I love my books (too much, says someone) but I love the season that my new book tree celebrates. The incarnation. The Birth of Christ. The eucatastrophe of mankind’s history (for all you Tolkien fans).

Breathtaking indeed. Beyond words.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)