A Christmas Blessing

Like the common shepherds, may we accept, with joy, the message that God loves us in an uncommon, spectacular way, NOW, as we are, enough to send his beloved Son to redeem us, and may the spreading of this word be our highest priority.

Like the tenacious wise men, may are heads not be turned by kings or the glittery things of this world, but may we seek God with all our might and worship him with the gift of ourselves.

Like the doubtful Zechariah, may our faith be strengthened and our tongues loosened to praise God’s steadfastness every day.

Like the joyful Elizabeth, may the truth that God has delivered us from disgrace be ever on our lips.

Like the humble Mary, may we gently, eagerly accept God’s will for us, may we dare to believe with Him all things are possible, and may we ponder and treasure His word in our hearts.

Like the indomitable Joseph, may we have the courage to be obedient to God even when it’s hard and may we face the travails of this life trusting, abiding in, and following Him.

Like the good donkey who carried a pregnant mother over many dusty miles, may we draw from the well of God’s strength to help bear the burdens of the suffering and the downtrodden.

Like the luminous star, may we reflect God’s glory wherever we are and may that reflection mark the narrow road for those who have eyes to see.

Like the bright angels ore the fields, may we be bearers of the good news of Christ, people of joy and peace, bringing love, light and hope to a cold, dark, weary world.

May it be so! Merry Christmas, friends!

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Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

A Question for the Christ

Jesus

What was it like

To leave the comforts of your heavenly home

The perfect love and fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit

To put aside the unrestrained majesty and power

To dress your purity in flesh and stench

And take on helplessness and need

Did the angel’s celebration in the skies

Cause your little eyes to flutter

Suckling at your mother’s breast

Or nestled in the snuggly strips of cloth

Securely planted in the scratchy hay

Did the grunting and the snuffling of animals keep you awake

Did your parents get a wink of sleep

Or did dear Mary hover over you

In awe and yawning

Did the shepherds rest their dirty fingers

On your sweet smelling brow

How did Mary take this

Did she smile or flinch

Did Joseph chastise them to give you space

Because they clambered in, a noisy band they were

Breathless and excited

Did the glow of that fair star, the beacon bringing wise men, graze your skin

Lighting on you as you looked on wide-eyed

At those distinguished gentlemen who turned up at your door

Did their gifts at all enthrall you

Did their veneration turn your head

When they bowed before you

Did you understand they’d traveled from afar

A journey long and hard

Just to adore you

My brain cannot contain this strange idea

That God became a man, much less a babe

And when I ponder further

The reason that you graced this place

I’m floored

At your great sacrifice

Jesus

What was it like

I wonder

And I worship

 

 

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 If you’re interested in reading other Christmasy posts I’ve written, scroll down to the bottom of the page and put the word Christmas in the “Look for Somethin'” search bar. You’ll find a couple that way, but scroll down to the older posts button from there and click on that and a few more will come up. You may also follow me there or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

A White Christmas?

I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas

Just like the ones I’ve rarely known

Where the trees are bare

And children stare

And cry because there isn’t any snow

I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas

With every trip I take outside

May your days feel more like July

And may all your Christmases be dry

Snow. I’m not a fan. Sure, it’s very pretty at times, even dreamy, when it’s wafting down slowly in flakes the size of feathers, forming a crystalline blanket of softness on surfaces. It shushes things. Traffic lessens, as a slippery sheen is laid down. People stay inside. They cocoon, wrapping themselves in wooly sweaters and self-administering hot liquids. They’re content to look at the snow like one looks at snowfall-16319_1920fish in a fish tank. It’s rather mesmerizing to watch the world fade to white and familiar forms, like vehicles, obscure to fluffy mounds. Unfortunately, snow’s beauty is fleeting. Try travelling in the open country in a blizzard where you can’t see 2 feet in front of your vehicle and, I guarantee, you won’t be so enamored with it. For a day, fresh and pure, it’s enchanting, but, as the winter drags on, driven snow clumped with salt, sand, and gravel is ugly, especially when the sticky stuff sticks around for months. Soon enough, most people can hardly stand the sight of it.

I wish I had a looney for every time someone said to me how important it’s to them to have a white Christmas. Many are more particular than that. They want snow on Christmas Day only.

“Jesus, we wanna thank you for coming to earth and all, but we know you control the weather. You stopped the storm in the boat there. So…. We’d like a little glitter on the actual day just to make it special. Don’t go overboard, now. We don’t need a blizzard, just a dusting.”

Did you know there are people across the globe who celebrate Christmas without snow ever? For Christians, Christmas can’t be about the trappings, the twinkling lights, the fresh-cut, no longer Evergreen, the baubles and bows, the bustling shopping malls and bedazzled gifts, the big family meals and fresh-baked goodies, the snow. If it is, if that’s our focus at Christmas, we’re idolaters. The very idea that gift-1008894_960_720Christian people require something more than Jesus, precipitation or otherwise, to make Christmas “perfect” is bizarre thinking to me. Christmas isn’t a scraggly, Charlie Brown Christmas tree that needs propping up and decorating. Christmas is Jesus. Period. It’s so much bigger than us and our puny preferences. It’s a call to reflection and wonder, not an invitation to overspending and overeating. It’s the glorious, astonishing roll out of God’s redemptive plan. It’s His Son humbling Himself by valiantly casting off His royal robes to don decaying flesh for stained-glass-4473087_1920the sake of every human soul. It’s the brightest, best day on earth when hope was literally born, forgiveness was offered, and new life was promised. What could be more special, more perfect than that? If we make Christmas about the trappings, we have grossly undervalued the incarnation and set ourselves up for much disappointment, especially this year when Covid will wreak havoc on all our festivities. When we don’t get the gifts we want or our people can’t come home or the weather doesn’t cooperate, do we rail or complain or pronounce Christmas a bust? May it never be so!

The angels announced the coming of Christ to the shepherds as “good tidings of great joy for all people”. (You can read last year’s post about the angels and shepherds here). They added no caveats. Christmas, as it is, as the angels expressed it, is about joy for everybody no matter who you are, what you have, or your circumstances and it’s not the fleeting kind of joy that evaporates when the party’s over or with the dirtying of snow. It’s a living, deep, lasting joy. It’s one of the reasons Jesus came that we may experience His joy in its fullness. (John 15:11).

Last Christmas, the most unusual one I’ve ever experienced, I had a taste of this unexplainable joy. On Christmas Day, my family took a ten hour drive through the mountains. We shared a meal in a hotel. We spent the latter part of the evening singing Christmas Carols in a hospital room with my dying father. (You can read about that here.) This was obviously not like the Christmases we’ve known, the ones with merriment, food, and presents. It was tinged with sadness, but it was by no means ruined or any less Christmas. Maybe it was more so. Singing about Christ’s birth with a man standing on the joy-1823939_1920doorstep of death was a poignant reminder of our need for a Saviour, but also our hope in a benevolent King. I’ve never had more joy singing those Christmas Carols than I had singing them one last time with my dad.

I’ll wrap this up with another famous Christmas Carol, the words of Isaac Watts published in 1719, still so relevant for today.

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

That’s my wish for you this Christmas, for all of us. Joy. Take courage! Be bold! Even in the midst of all this turmoil, grief, and uncertainty, celebrate the wonders of His love! Joy to the world, snow or no! 🙂

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 If you’re interested in reading other Christmasy posts I’ve written, scroll down to the bottom of the page and put the word Christmas in the “Look for Somethin'” search bar. You’ll find a couple that way, but scroll down to the older posts button from there and click on that and a few more will come up. You may also follow me there or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

Hark

For my Dad, Ron Mayforth, the one who led me to the light.

Every year for the last four years, our church has had the opportunity to share a Live Nativity Production with the people of our city at a local Christmas Craft fair. Along with a couple of goats, volunteers are gathered from every age group. We usually have a real baby Jesus, a gaggle of kids playing either scruffy shepherds or cherubic angels, young adults to flesh out the roles of Joseph and Mary, and seniors of both sexes to play the Wise Men. This year, as I participated, I was struck once again by the story that marks the coming of God to us. So often, the lowliness of his birth is emphasized, the fact that he came as a helpless baby to an unknown, unwed teenager and her tradesman fiancée from a little town of little regard. There were no premium cotton sheets waiting, not even a proper crib or, for that matter, a sanitary, comfortable place for Mary to give birth. She hunkered down and grunted in the hay, not unlike the farm animals surrounding her. Hardly the dignified procession with the requisite pomp and splendor befitting the King of kings, but, if we look elsewhere, his arrival wasn’t completely without fanfare. Continue reading “Hark”

Knock Knock

Oh, hello.

How nice of you to drop by.

I wasn’t expecting you.

I hear the sound of a baby’s cry

And the bleating of stable animals.

Something smells.

But, no matter.

Come on in.

I’m sorry, I’ve nothing prepared.

Life is busy. You know how it is.

Can we get personal?

You don’t mind, do you?

Cuz, I’m a bit surprised.

Was this your plan

With all your power

To enter in this mess

Helpless and completely at our mercy?

Yes, it was?

How interesting!

Was this your plan

To form a band of rag tag nobodies

Confer on them a mission and an other-wordly kingdom

Placing all possibility of success squarely on their wobbly shoulders?

Let me guess, the answer, yet again, is yes?

How curious!

Was this your plan to end up nailed, spiked through hands and feet, to weathered stakes of wood

In front of all of those you healed who thought you were the one to free them?

You have my rapt attention.

To breathe your last and pass from heaven into hell

And, then, to rise again, ascend to sit at God’s right hand,

To make your home with us where you will reign forevermore?

What’s this?

A resounding affirmation

Oh, yes, there’s no mistake, no lapse in judgement, but celestial wisdom.

Oh, I didn’t know, I didn’t see, I didn’t understand.

The tears they blind my eyes.

You came to live with us, with me!

I bow my head.

I get down humbly on one knee

And offer up my heart, my life.

It’s all I have to give.

You lift me up and hold me for a time.

Then we let go, but still I feel aglow.

I’ll show you to your room.

 

Feature image graciously provided by Άννα Καράκοντη (@anna_karakonti) on Instagram.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for reading my blog! You give me the gift of your time and attention every time you do and I’m so grateful. Enjoy your holiday!

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram @pollyeloquent. 🙂

 

Good Tidings

I’ve a hole in my heart since the day I was born

I knew it was there and while I’ve grown the hole grows, too

It’s now a rift, no, more a chasm

I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to fill

And I fear someday as I tiptoe on the edge

To deposit yet another futile offering

That I will stumble on the slippery shale

And fall within myself and disappear

 

But at this time of year

I’m reminded there’s hope

I’m reminded that my hole is nothing more

Than the feeling that I’m desperately alone

And the anguish that I suffer now

Was remedied one Christmas morn

When the Father of the universe, the lover of our souls

Sent the Son to be with us

God is with us

 

It’s why the angel choir sang

And what the shepherds felt compelled to tell

And why the wise men left their palaces

To wander miles across the desert sands

Their eyes transfixed upon a glorious star

Somehow they knew the coming of this tiny babe, this most unlikely king

Would satisfy and make them well

And they would never be alone

God is with us

 

Remember now, rejoice and celebrate

The radiance that pierced the darkness on the earth

Remember now while it comes easily

And take it with you into a mysterious new year

It’s why we lift our voices in the carol song

And swathe the evergreen in beams of light

It’s why we give our gifts to meet the needs of one and all

It’s why we live

To breathe and bear this sacred tale

God is with us

God is with us

God is with us

 

Author’s note: There will be another Christmas poem posted on Christmas Day. 🙂

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Giving that Hurts so Good

When many people think of Christmas, the first thought that comes to mind is presents, packages wrapped up crisp and neat in festive paper, be-ribboned, and tucked awaygift1 under the bows of the Christmas tree to mingle with the low hanging ornaments. Gone are the days when sugar plums danced in childrens’ heads and shrieks of glee could be heard over a stocking filled with an orange and a couple of candy canes. Now, it’s iPhones and PlayStation consoles cluttering up kids’ noggins and taxing parents’ already stretched bank accounts.
Continue reading “Giving that Hurts so Good”

All I Want for Christmas is You

airjordanWant is rampant in our culture, particularly during the holiday season. I’m not talking about the want of poverty where people are subsisting on found food, begging for discards, and suffering and dying of starvation. I’m speaking of the disease of desire, the “must have more” mentality, the mission of acquisition.
Continue reading “All I Want for Christmas is You”

Out of the Mouths of Teens

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My son and his junior high band class played Christmas carols at City Hall one year. Before angeltinsel2they began, the band teacher turned around to explain that the students had only been together for a paltry few weeks. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that my son had played the saxophone. The teacher added that with the limited number of students and, consequently, instruments, the melody may be carried by instruments we were not accustomed to hearing carry the melody.
Continue reading “Out of the Mouths of Teens”