Saturday, December 24, 2016

Town Beneath a Certain Star (Christmas 1989)



Christmas 1989,
the early morning hours,
a moment of silent reflection. 
I wake first in anticipation of my eldest daughter's first celebration
of our Lord’s birth. 
Waiting to see the expression of her tiny face
as she crawls across the living room floor. 
Am I more excited about a ten-month old’s joy
or my own joy of this being my first Christmas as a parent.

Six O’clock,
and I don’t expect her to wake up until eight. 
Tree lights are turned on. 
I curl up in the old green recliner and listen to the gentle silence of our old home. 
Prayer comes to me as a poem. 
I hear soft tones,
blending sounds into words. 
They are not mine. 
The manger on top of the unused Franklin stove contains the child’s figure.
A small reminder,
and the lyric fills me.

Into this world is born love.
He is born in a stable.
He is born in the coolness of night.
He is born among the scent of the animals.
He is born upon a bed of hay.
           
Into this world is born love,
and because he is born into this world, in this humility,
the child given unto me is offered salvation. 
She lies in an old crib refinished by a loving grandfather. 
She is wrapped in blankets to ward off the chill. 
Her sheets are clean and the cat is the only animal nearby.

Don’t misunderstand,
this is not to say that children are not born into this world in impoverished circumstances. 
It is to say that Jesus, through His birth, death and resurrection, has given my daughter a beautiful gift. 
He has given me a beautiful gift and an awesome responsibility.  She is one of the many gifts He has bestowed on me and I must mold the texture of her life as best I can.
           
And He has protected her from the cribs hay,
cold nights and empty mangers.




A child is born
in a town beneath a certain star
in a world
unaware of its blessing.

Quiet shepherds
foretold of the birth
come to the crib side
to behold with lambs resting
on their strong shoulders.

A child is born
in sight of ox and ass
in the innocence
of a precious new life.

Stargazers from the far east
in colorful robes
and exotic glitter in hand
Come to be filled with his sight.

A child is born
sleeping now
on this Christmas morning.
A special gift of blessing.

Protected from
cribs hay
cold nights
and empty mangers.
Protected by
the child,
born in a town beneath a certain star.



copyright 1989 - Donald P James Jr 



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