I wrote the following piece upon request. I didn’t intend for it to rhyme initially but I think it was a happy accident. I did intend to write a piece that would cast a different vision of Christmas eve. We like to listen to light hearted songs and envision peaceful snowscapes, but the night our Savior was born was quite ordinary, quite sinful, and quite hopeless. There was little peace to be found in Bethlehem with the command of a census sending millions on the road. For four hundred years God had been silent and nights exactly like this one came and went. In His divine timing, God chose this ordinary night to end His silence with the cry of a tiny baby, the Savior made flesh.
There was a darkness that eclipsed the edges of that ancient world. A darkness outside of the night. Four hundred years the silence raged, until that ordinary night.
Rattling carts were dragged down rocky streets. Weary travelers filed by doors with dirty feet. Shifting eyes met gambling hands. Bets were lost and debts began. Drinks were had and to bed they lay. Curses were exchanged and threats were made.
A slave mother wooed her teary eyed babe. A king gazed past the flickering lanterns of tired slaves. Desperate eyes met the heavens above and Queens turned down beds of silk to the cooing of morning doves.
Rotten fruit was thrown to waste. Beggars gave in to sleep aside street market gates. Donkeys flicked evening flies off their ears. Sheep lowed in near by fields, awaiting morning sheers. Far off magicians lay wide awake, counting stars and predicting fate.
It only took seconds but miles of pain for a dear sweet virgin to motherhood gain. Not a glass was raised nor fattened calf slain. Inviting the king would have been in vein. She gave a great cry and time stood still, and there, into the darkness, was born Emmanuel. His tiny hands writhed in the evening air. Tiny tears sliding into His new born hair. A nervous carpenter stumbled for words. Cattle glanced as if murmurs could be heard.
There was a darkness that raged that silent night. But in a mere instant, it was filled with light. Divine presence among peasants and with only three presents. God incarnate, prophesied King, fulfilled each and every sentence.
The Word made flesh, Emmanuel, had just come and saved the world.