December 24, 2011

On Christmas Eve

Posted in Christmastide, Creation, Holy Spirit, Incarnation, Redeemer, Sanctification, Son of God at 9:13 am by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Hovering Dove, whose wings smoothed chaos into form
When “Let there be” spoke earth from nothingness,
Send forth the Sun of Righteousness
Whose healing wings convert the night to morn;
Scatter the scavenger birds that steal my peace
And threaten to undo what You have made.
Like Boaz, spread your wings to give me shade.
Redeem me, and from every fear release.
Word of God, speak truth where falsehoods reign,
For loving truth will silence fiery darts of lies.
Transfigure me, Your icon; as self dies
Show me your glory, that I may not strive in vain,
The glory Moses could not see until, the heavens riven,
Eternal glory in the Son of God was given.

Copyright © 2011 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)

Christmas is the time when we most seem to show that we simply do not “get” God’s plan. Propounders of the prosperity gospel tell us all year around that God wants to bless us with material stuff, and at Christmas time we seem to believe them. I do not believe that Jesus came to this earth so that I might have a flat-screen television. I believe He came to give me Himself, His glorious presence in my life, bringing peace and hope, but bringing also a cross of self-denial, the way of suffering that Christ Himself has trod. That, my friends, is our Christmas gift: the cross and the Cross, the opportunity to be transformed into His glorious image as we deny self more and more. That may not be the message people want to hear on Christmas, but it is the only one that saves.

The idea for this poem was born on one of my long drives to work this week. The last six miles is a lovely farmland/wilderness area with few houses, and I spend a lot of time enjoying God’s handiwork. I often see hawks or deer, but this week there was a flock of ravens in my path gloating over some morsel they had found, and as my car approached, they scattered. My mind immediately went to the parable of the birds that steal the seeds of faith. I kept repeating the phrase “scatter the scavenger birds” to myself until I had time to sit down and write the rest of the poem!

And so my best advice to all is this: never drive on the same road as a writer, for a writer’s mind may wander at the drop of a hat.

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