Thursday, November 30, 2023

"What Was God Doing When His Son Was Born?"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit: 



What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when He sent the angel

to the virgin to tell her

about overshadowing

and childbirth

and salvation for the world?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when in great anguish

Joseph didn’t believe his betrothed

and was about to call off their union

until in a dream he realized

they were a part

of an awesome and holy plan?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when heavy with child

Mary traveled with Joseph

by donkey in the dust and hills

clip-clopping to Bethlehem

for the census

and once there,

couldn’t find a proper place

for them to stay

and time for the travail

had come?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when in a cool cave

with livestock and hay

and dung and dampness

Joseph helped his wife

bring forth the Child

with rugged, splintered hands?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when Joseph held the Babe

Heavenward, in thanksgiving

and blessing, then presented

Him to Mary,

who called Him, Jesus,

and nursed Him at her breast?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven

when Mary wrapped Jesus

in swaddling cloths

and placed Him in fresh hay

her husband prepared

in a crude wooden trough?

What, oh what

was God thinking

looking down from His Heaven

upon His only begotten

born into the world

as the Least

and the Most?


What was God doing?

What was He thinking

high up in His Heaven?

Did He celebrate with the angels

before sending them Earthward

with their jubilant glorias

and triumphant trumpets?

Did His joy set ablaze

the beckoning star above Bethlehem?

Did He preen with pure pride

as shepherds and kings

came bearing their gifts?


Did He shudder an Almighty shudder

high up in His Heaven

at the movement toward fruition

of His cosmic plan?

Did He see flashes of thorns

and spikes and tree,

flashes of Blood

washing sin?


In the dark stillness,

as Joseph and Mary

fell into exhausted sleep,

did God reach quietly down,

chuck Jesus’ chin,

and whisper in His tiny ear,

“You have Your Father’s eyes,

My Son.”?


Maude Carolan

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

By Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

"Spotless Little Lambs"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit:



Before their drowsy eyes, during watch, last night

some shepherds witnessed a startling sight—


The sky came alight! There were fluttering wings

hallelujahs and so many splendored things!


Angelic hosts proclaimed Our Messiah’s birth

with “Fear not!” and “Glorias” and joyful mirth,


so this morning from that field in Bethlehem

they set off to laud the Infant Son of HaShem[1].


Without defect or blemish, the shepherd’s pride,

spotless little lambs trotted close by their side.


When the shepherds and sheep came to the birthplace

Mary and Joseph welcomed them, face to face.


Each shepherd bowed down before the Lamb of God;

the lambs drew close to Him; but that wasn’t odd


for there was a link that united them all

in God’s marvelous plan to save the world.


All of the lambs were destined for sacrifice—

the spotless wooly lambs and God’s Lamb, the Christ!


We’re grateful for the LOVE of the great I AM;

Atonement’s achieved at the Cross of His Lamb!


Maude Carolan Pych





[1] HaShem is one of the Hebrew names for God. It means “The Name.” 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

"Mary & Elizabeth"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas



A young virgin

from Nazareth, was roused

by the flapping of wings

a manshape in moonbeams

and a perplexing salutation:


Greetings, favored one!

The Lord is with you


It was Gabriel

an angel sent by God

who told Mary she would conceive

and bear a boy child, Jesus—

the Son of the Most High


He spoke of the Holy Spirit

and overshadowing

and of her relative, Elizabeth

who though barren

conceived in her old age—


for nothing is impossible with God


Awestruck, trembling

needing to tell someone

who did Mary go to first?

Her mother? Father?

How would they receive such news?

Or did she run to her betrothed, Joseph

expecting him to understand?


Oh, he wanted to understand

wanted to believe, but

it was unbelievable, preposterous

So, stunned, disappointed

feeling utterly deceived, Joseph

contemplated quietly sending her away


Then Mary remembered the angel

had spoken of her dear cousin, Elizabeth—

Is that why Mary hurried off

on a brave trek to the hills of Judea…alone?


Of course, it had to be Elizabeth

aged, wise, expecting

and now acquainted, herself, with miracles


When Mary arrived at the home

of Zacharias and Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s unborn baby

leapt for joy! in her womb

and in a whirl of wondrous ecstasy

Elizabeth knew of Mary’s pregnancy

before being told


…then a psalm-like lilt of praise

sprang from Mary’s lips

extolling the great things

the Mighty One had done for her


Tender were the next three months

as the household awaited Elizabeth’s travail

(and the birth of John, the baptizer)


The women prepared their layettes

folded the swaddling clothes

shared their magnanimous miracles

and confided maternal aspirations

as their bellies swelled


…and I like to think

Joseph ran all the way to Judea

expressly to announce

his own angelic vision in a dream—

that he was to take Mary as his wife

and they would await

the miraculous birth of Jesus—together


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Monday, November 27, 2023

"The Carpenter of Nazareth"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas





The carpenter laid his hammer down

brushed sawdust from his clothes

slouched onto the rude wooden bench

he’d been working on

and ran calloused hands

through his dark, wavy beard

It seemed he’d misjudged

his beloved, his betrothed

her purity, fidelity, her forthrightness

Earlier that day

the tender voice he knew well

spoke softly of pregnancy

an angel...overshadowing

of some holy thing

It was too much for him

incomprehensible, even incredible

Joseph leaned back against the rough wood

stretched his sinewy arms

gazed with resignation toward the heavens

He'd hand her a bill of divorcement —

wash his hands. It was over. Finished

He rose, shook his head

and returned to work


In the night

tension dissolved

into welcome sleep

Deep, deep in its midst

a flurry of wings and light

wrapped him in wonder

A stirring voice resonated

“Fear not...

Take Mary as your wife”

Words swirled as he tossed

“for the Son conceived in her

is of the Holy Spirit."

Then distinctly, Joseph heard

“Name Him Jesus…

“He will save your people from their sins”



Mary placed a few belongings into a sack

She and Joseph were about to leave

for Bethlehem, for the census

She felt a hardy kick

from inside her swollen belly

and reflexively caressed the spot

“A knee,” she smiled

God had chosen her for a purpose

she could barely comprehend

and the birth would be soon

She neatly folded soft, clean cloths

and packed them

just in case her time would come

during the journey


Traveling was arduous

by foot and donkey-back

over hills and rocky terrain

Joseph was attentive

stopping periodically for rests

but evening was fast approaching

Finally, they could see the town ahead

Suddenly, Mary felt her stomach stiffen

Was this the sign

Elizabeth had told her about

Her back ached. She was weary

Soon, her stomach tightened again

then again, but stronger

She told Joseph

who touched her, tenderly

and bid her not to fret

Lodging was close by

But when they arrived

the innkeeper told them

the place was packed with travelers

Seeing their dilemma

he offered shelter and privacy

in the livestock cave out back

Joseph helped her off the donkey

and into the dark rock-hewn cave

Hurriedly, he gathered fresh hay

and prepared a makeshift nook

apart from the animals

then sat at Mary’s side, cooling her brow

as contractions intensified



In the evening chill

amid moon and star and lantern-light

the musky odor of straw and dung

rhythmic sounds of

braying, bleating

and occasional shouts and laughter

emanating from the inn

the carpenter rolled his sleeves

and delivered the Promised One

Joseph presented the healthy boy child

to his virginal wife to nurse

then emptied a rugged old trough

and filled it with sweet-smelling hay

all the time thinking

of the fine, smoothly sanded cradle

back home in Nazareth

"Jesus, someday I'll teach you

how to select the finest woods

how to build and saw and sand

You'll be a fine carpenter, Jesus

a very fine carpenter…"

Joseph carefully placed Jesus

in the makeshift cradle

then fashioned a spot for himself

on the floor of the cave

and soon fell fast asleep


Maude Carolan

Sunday, November 26, 2023

"Greetings, Favored One!"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit: Good Salt


The Gospel of Luke, NASB


I’ve read the story many times

in the Gospel of Luke

and many times

tried to imagine exactly

how it happened—


tried to picture Mary, as a young virgin

Some sources place her

around the age of my grandchildren

school kids about twelve or thirteen


Mary may have been alone in a room

or at the well in Nazareth, drawing water

or with friends in the crowded marketplace



in a moment’s whoosh!


a winged man

an angel, Gabriel

from above the highest clouds

the unseen dominions of Heaven

appeared before her

to deliver a vital message

from Almighty God, Himself!


Greetings, favored one! he said


Oh! It’s so hard to visualize—


but, I imagine Mary fell prostrate

trembling all over, aware

of each pounding beat of her heart

I imagine she dared not even glance

toward the face of God’s holy messenger—


Gabriel likely spoke tenderly

urging her not to be afraid, then

explained she would conceive

and bear a Son

He would be called

Jesus, the Son of God


What an astonishing



When Mary was finally able to speak

she asked how this could possibly be


and Gabriel told of

the Holy Spirit and overshadowing

by the Lord Most High


Overwhelmed, yet

observant, obedient

and utterly trusting

the Lord, her God


Mary said, Yes.

May it be done unto me

according to God’s word.


So, in the fullness of time

miracle of miracles!

the virgin did give birth

in the humblest of places—

a lowly manger

in Bethlehem of Judea


Angels sang Gloria

Shepherds left their fields

to worship Him

Magi followed a star

pulsing above them in the sky


Glory to God in the highest—

Jesus, Our Savior, is born!


and the world

has never been the same—


Maude Carolan Pych


Saturday, November 25, 2023

"The Winged Ones"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit: PBS



There’s a sudden swirl

of fragrance and smoke

as Zacharias tends

the temple altar of incense

Lo! A resplendent angel

appears before his eyes—


It is Gabriel

who stands in the presence of God


The winged one startles the old priest

by proclaiming—


Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear a son…

He will be the forerunner of Messiah


Astonished at the announcement

(for his wife is advanced in years)

Zacharias dares question

God’s messenger

and is duly struck dumb—


and will not utter another word

until the Heavenly proclamation

comes to pass


As grey-haired Elizabeth blossoms

with approaching motherhood

Gabriel alights again

all wings and gleam and glory

in a visit to Mary, a Nazarene maiden

He foretells that she, too, will be with child—

She has been chosen to be the virgin mother

of the Holy Son of God—


Breathless, Mary runs

to Joseph, her betrothed

eager to tell of the angelic visitation

and Gabriel’s marvelous word to her


but it is too much for him to comprehend—

Feeling deceived and disheartened

he considers ending their engagement


until one night, while tossing in sleep

an angel of the Lord appears in a dream

to assure him

Mary is indeed pure and righteous—

miraculously overshadowed

by the Holy Spirit of God


so Joseph marries her

and together they await the coming

of the Savior of the World


and when that wondrous event occurs

a multitude of angels fill the Heavenlies

with most glorious splendors

The Bethlehem night becomes brilliant

startling lowly shepherds

reclining in fields with their flocks


and all the beautiful celestial beings

with wings and robes and gladness

proclaim good news of great joy

for all people:


Glory to God in the Highest—

Jesus, the Messiah, is born!

 Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Friday, November 24, 2023

"Christmas at the Mall"

 A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

It's Black Friday...




Day after Thanksgiving, at the mall, what is this I see…

Santas sledding in the air and a tinseled Christmas tree,

a roly-poly Frosty, red-nosed Rudolph with some elves,

glittery garlands, balls, and bows, bedazzling on the shelves?

The shops are alive with music, “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells;”

there are “ho, ho, hos,” “let it snows” and cinnamony smells.


It certainly all seems festive, so cheery and so bright,

but what oh what does it have to do with that holy night?

I cannot find a manger scene, an angel or a star,

I do not see the wisemen…wonder where the shepherds are.

I do not hear a carol or the story of the birth

of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who dwelled right here on Earth.


Some, it seems, have cast aside the things that matter most—

By replacing Truth with fairytales, Treasure has been lost.

My heart fills up with sorrow and causes me to prod

the fading faith of dear ones, who used to walk with God.

Lord, help us all remember the virgin and the Child…

Revive in us once strong faith that’s been waning a while.


Maude Carolan Pych

Thursday, November 23, 2023

"Thanksgiving Day Homecoming"

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Today marks Day #1 of

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas...

Photo credit:



She smiled as she dusted

the framed family photographs

on the old oak credenza

sang as she swept the kitchen floor

even Lysoled the bathroom bowl

with effervescence


Humming a favorite hymn, the woman

skillfully rolled pastry into a twelve inch circle

adjacent to a bowl of peeled apple wedges

tossed with sugar, cinnamon and cloves


Spontaneous praise to Jesus

proceeded from her lips

as she stuffed the twenty pound turkey

trussed it tidily

rubbed it with butter and sage

and lifted it into the moderate oven


On the antique table linen

that had been stored away

in her mother’s cedar chest

she placed her best china, crystal and silver

then set a wicker cornucopia

abounding with miniature pumpkins

and assorted nubby gourds, right in the center


Her feet ached, but her eyes sparkled—

This was among life’s highest joys

Her children and grandchildren

would soon be at the door

carrying homemade casseroles

and bringing lots of hugs and tales and laughter

and she would get to serve

Thanksgiving dinner


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.