The Overshadow: A Poem
Christmas Miscellany

Incarnation

Incarnation

Unmade.  Unformed.  Superlative mystery which
cannot be unwound.  Yet there is love, ringed by
joy, there is unity in one sound, and we are

          Moving here, outside, unbound.  Then
          there is the child, puncturing time, our
          spirit into flesh, flesh feeling time, an
          earthy reality, a new world found.

Sorrow mixed with joy.  We did in agony, yet,
to be reborn.  Architecture of mercy,
painted promise in blood red, and we are

          Moving here, outside, unbound.  Then
          there is the man, parting time, our body
          knowing passion, passion born of love, an
          earthy reality, now word-bound.

Created, then reformed.  Souls dance as they're
reborn.  Little incarnations, divinely conceived,
flung into history to humanly live, and we are

          Moving here, between two worlds,
          like the child, puncturing time,
          like the man, knowing pain, yet,
          reborn in love in a new world come.

[This poem is dated November 17, 1994.  I don't recall writing it, and it pains me a bit to read it.  There are metaphors that don't work well, or are confusing.  And yet I do like the idea of relating our incarnation to the Incarnation.  What the Council of Chalcedon affirmed in AD 451 is, as J.I. Packer says so well, that "all the qualities and powers that are in us, as well as all the qualities and powers that are in God, were, are, and ever will be really and indistinguishably present in the one person of the man from Galilee."  Packer calls the Incarnation "this mysterious miracle at the heart of historic Christianity."  It is, and the human, who we are, is no less a miracle, that we should be little incarnations, made in the image of God.  Think about that for long and my head hurts.]

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