First Coming: a poem for Christmastime
Merry Christmas Eve, y’all! We made it. Take a deep breath, look around you, and know that what’s going to get done—well, has gotten done. There’s still more to do, but it’s now time to stop. You might still have preparations to do for tomorrow, but trust in the truth that the best, most memorable Christmas Days aren’t the “perfect” ones. They’re the ones when we’re relaxed, well rested, enjoying the company in our midst, and laughing at the mess around us.
Treat yourself to some poetry today. Take another breath, and let this be a selah to you, just before the family gatherings, Christmas Eve services, and onslaught of extended families begins.
This is a gem by one of my favorites, Madeleine L’Engle. I found it fitting for this year, as we celebrate a holiday amidst serious global strife and heartache. The world was not ready, indeed.
He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait
till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
-Madeleine L’Engle, from The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle
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