A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas
THERE WAS NOTHING CUTE ABOUT IT—
When Mary traveled with Joseph
from Nazareth to Bethlehem
over ruts and rocks and hills
on the back of a donkey
during her final month of pregnancy
it was an arduous journey—
There was nothing
cute about it!
And when her labor pains began
and she was far from home
far from the midwife she trusted
and the birthing room turned out to be
the hay strewn floor of a dirty stable
there was nothing
cute about it!
and when following the birth of Jesus
Joseph had a dream
and determined they had to flee to Egypt
to escape Herod’s twisted plan
so they quickly tossed a few necessities
in a saddle-bag and the three of them set off
for a place of safety—
there was nothing cute
about it, at all!
But, when I open my pretty Christmas cards
and see the holy family journeying
with Mary, draped in a lovely blue gown
and Joseph strolling alongside her
staff-in-hand, as their donkey
plods along agreeably
it all looks pleasant and
and when I gaze at manger scenes
(including my own)
arranged tidily on polished table tops
the scene is as perfectly charming
as the Christmas tableau
at Radio City Music Hall
We’ve embellished and recreated the event
to make it sweet and lovely and picture-perfect
but in reality, it was utterly profound--
a most striking and pivotal moment in time
Jesus was born to be Our Savior
Maude Carolan Pych
His splintered hands sand silky smooth
every ding and bump and groove;
then Joseph measures every piece—
hammers nailheads with expertise.
He's built fine cradles, but this one
is extra-special. It's for God’s Son.
He moves Babe Jesus from the trough
to the cradle; He's swaddled, soft.
The manger scene, quaint and lowly
now more befits One Who's holy.
Joseph, years hence will reap a thrill—
he'll teach the boy carpentry skills.
Shoved on crossbeams, Jesus' body.
Crude wood. Workmanship is shoddy.
Men grab His wrists. They pound the nails.
They watch Him wince; His color pales.
They lift the Cross; taunt till He dies.
The air is pierced by women's cries.
The sky grows dark. The dry earth quakes.
O hear the hissing of the Snake…
Holy of Holies veil is torn—
Sin is atoned! Salvation born!
God’s Master Plan, now understood—
began and ends with nails and wood.