Tuesday 27 December 2011

Travel With Me. My latest poem/post.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Luke 2:4-7 TARGUM

So many people had journeys to make. And Mary and Joseph also had a journey to make. They travelled from Nazareth a town in Galilee, upwards to the village of Bethlehem in the hills of Judea. Whether or on a donkey, or by foot, the journey passed through lush olive groves and dry desert climes. Bethlehem was widely known as the “town of David” and Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, secure in the knowledge that Joseph belonged to the house of David, for Joseph was a descendent of King David himself. Joseph went with Mary to the village of Bethlehem, to register for Caesar Augustus’ census.

Mary was Joseph’s betrothed, his fiancĂ© who he was to marry. She was pregnant with a child to be born of God. They arrived in Bethlehem in the midst of busyness, people coming and going, travelling from far and wide to register for Caesar Augustus’ census. They found hospitality with Joseph’s distant family. The family already had guests in the guest room and so Joseph and the heavily pregnant Mary found themselves sharing the family room with the cousins of a previous generation.

While they were staying with Joseph’s distant family Mary’s labour began. As her contractions grew more regular, women from the neighbourhood started to arrive at the house, they made their way through the stable and up the few steps into the family room with its assorted mangers. As the women arrived, the men of the household offered Mary encouragement and then left to await the news in a neighbour’s house. Then the nearest the village had to a midwife arrived and with the women from the community helped to deliver the baby. Mary’s first child, her son was born and swaddled in cloths and placed into a sheep’s manger. The women from the neighbourhood dispersed and the men returned. And so it was that the boy slept his first night in a room with Mary and Joseph, and some distant relatives as well.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Falling For Mary (an advent poem)

Mary, I am sorry, for the way I’ve acted towards you.

For the silent disdain I’ve held in my tradition, without ever really knowing it.

Ten years ago those words and prayers about you confused me and I just couldn’t understand,

Your place and role in God’s Father plan.

I never quite got what it was you did, but have a kid,

A kid who was God, but there was much more to it than I gave you credit for.

And then three years ago I re-read those words you said.

Recorded in that book.

And I read them again and again nearly every day.

Words about how God sends the rich away without what they came for.

Those things you said about the humility of a servant.

And how God is merciful, forever.

And I grew to appreciate you more.

Found something in you like a revolution.

And realised that your words held a power that was beyond who you were.

That the song you sang in all its magnificence,

Was itself a miraculous event.

Last year I saw your face, painted with oils deep and rich.

On an island off the coast of Scotland.

You were dressed in blue, your head covered, your eyes deep and penetrating.

And I couldn’t look away.

From that gaze, that,

Felt like it held time together.

And then this Spring I spent so many days with other pictures of you.

Brush strokes trying to tell the story of that moment.

When the messenger of God visited you.

And I wondered.

How you felt.

Whether you were scared?

Or pious?

Or submissive?

Or strong?

Or both.

And I think I started to fall in love with you.

When I realised that,

Beyond the pictures in their gilded frames.

And white lilies.

And red needlework.

And doves.

And prayer books.

Was you.



And resilient.

So resilient.

And I realised that those words you sang in that song,

Were sung from your experience.

And that the eyes with which you looked.

Upon the messenger of God.

Were eyes, just like, the eyes of every other.

And before it all,

I began to see you, for who I’d never let you be.

And since July, I’ve seen those eyes again, nearly every single day,

Eyes shaped out of coloured glass and penetrating in power.

And another gilded frame, with its golds and reds and blues.

And the boy on your lap.

The boy, held close to your heart,

The very same heart to be pierced,

As Simeon said.

And in the darkness of this growing winter,

In the midst of this season of waiting.

I am slowly understanding.

Just what advent means.

And I’m slowly understanding,

Just who you were called to be.

And I’m slowly getting a grip on,

What that is supposed to mean to me.