"in a manger
still and obscure
hidden beneath a star shone bright
swaddled in ancient words and found by foreign men
bruised heal before lungs even drew
a quiet night diseasing evil forever
after all, bruised beats broken
and that’s what the angels were singing
to shepherds, to wise, to whored and to falsely whole
we swallow brokenness like the drugs keeping us afloat
our heads nod in restlessness and the receiving
our hearts return us to the well to see the seer
and so this is Christmas
all white in the absence of snow
our hearts pushed in, and we know
the bruises beat the broken
holy night, hushed and aglow
promise’s arrival to a heavy handed world
time a refugee in the camp Grace swallowed
the Virgin knows what mothers do not:
how to hold the King of Angels
O, come let us adore him, Christ, the Lord
But look at the night. Jesus doesn’t fix anything. In fact, things get worse; a lot worse. The king of the moment feels threatened at the report of foreign wise men arrived to see the foretold promise under a star. So the king commands all babies under the age of two be found and murdered. The people of the foretold promise bleeding again under the tyrannical rule of other men. I’d say things worsened.
We’ve heard the story book-ended by Christmas and Easter unfold – the child grew. The story builds anticipation as some realize the Promise arrived in a manger, grew into a man, touched people like God. He gathered the bruised and buried the broken. And then the story reaches climax with his public, gory death – worsened once again. A strong shift of circumstance happens in Jesus’ resurrection, and then, a sort of to be continued hangs as those closest to him watch him ascend into the heavens.
And here we are. Holders of the promise awaiting God’s glorious arrival, as a people once did. So much of our world is broken; our very lives broken, too.
What if Jesus comes hushed again, undetected in our world obsessed with its own healing, demanding all must be whole before all can be all right?
Jesus doesn’t fix anything. He comes.
Into the worst conditions, among a family gone amok, through the unchangeable circumstance of death and all the more that can go wrong, Jesus comes right into the middle where you are and abides.
And so, this is Christmas, this is Advent, this is promise and this is Jesus. O, come let us adore him and belong to a Savior come and not a known cure."