Christmas Meditation

At bedtime the other night, Vivi solemnly prayed, “Dear God, thank you for Christmas and that you sent an angel to warn Mary about baby Jesus before he just esploded out of her tummy!”

It’s often hard to keep a straight face during bedtime prayers. Honestly, though, it is pretty great that God gave Mary a head’s up.

Ryan’s been reading through an advent devotional in the wee hours of the morning, and came upon one of my favorite Jane Kenyon poems ever.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and after this tumultuous year, it seems extra poignant.

Mosaic of the Nativity: Serbia, Winter, 1993

On the domed ceiling God
is thinking:
I made them my joy,
and everything else I created
I made to bless them.
But see what they do!
I know their hearts
and arguments:

“We’re descended from
Cain. Evil is nothing new,
so what does it matter now
if we shell the infirmary,
and the well where the fearful
and rash alike must
come for water?”

God thinks Mary into being.
Suspended at the apogee
of the golden dome,
she curls in a brown pod,
and inside her the mind
of Christ, cloaked in blood,
lodges and begins to grow.

— Jane Kenyon

First the creation, then the brokeness, then the answer.

So many friends of ours are deep in the trenches of loss this season. Not to mention the seemingly hopeless state of our world — millions of people displaced, rampant gender-based violence, famine, discord at every turn.

The meditation of my heart has been much darker and less — festive — than years past.

I love this poem for its reminder that Christmas is God’s tangible response to our pain. As I ponder the hopeless, unsolvable, shell-shocked places, God’s response is to, “[think] Mary into being… and inside her, the mind of Christ, cloaked in blood, lodges and begins to grow.”

He came to live among us in our pain. That is a great, wide comfort.

Blessed Christmas, friends.

P.S. Here is a wonderful performance of Biebl’s Ave Maria to meditate to this Christmas Eve – one of the most delicious, satisfying pieces I’ve ever sung.

2 thoughts on “Christmas Meditation

  1. Vivi’s prayer and Jane Kenyon’s poem are wonderful Christmas observations. The poem is new to me, so it’s a Christmas gift for me this year, Caroline. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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