Tuesday, December 15, 2020

"The First Coming"

There is a well-known poem by Madeleine L'Engle entitled "First Coming." I tend to share it every Advent. This year, as I was reading through Miracle on 10th Street, L'Engle's collection of Christmas writings, I stumbled across a similarly named poem: "The First Coming." This poem was first published in WinterSong, which she wrote with Luci Shaw.

Here is "The First Coming," in its Lineage of Expectation debut:

He came
throwing off glory
like fiery suns,
leaving power behind,
leaving the storms of hydrogen clouds,
the still-forming galaxies,
totally vulnerable
as he emptied himself.

She took him in—
into the deepest part of her being;
she contained the tiny Word,
smaller than the smallest
subatomic particle,
growing slowly
from immortality into mortality,
mother and child
together in the greatest act of love
the Maker could give the made.

Together they created
immortality from mortality
How? His father was Who?

He looked like any child
from the vulnerable top
of his tiny skull
to the little curling toes.

The whispered Word made
the sun and stars,
wind and water,
planets and moons, and all of us.
But he left this joy
to be

God With Us!
understanding lowly shepherds
and two old people in the Temple.
Later, three Wise Men—
one from each human race—
came, pondering,
Most of the powerful people
were skeptical at best
God become Son of Man? Nonsense.

Christ will come,
expected or unexpected,
when God is ready,
even while we are loudly demanding
signs and proofs
which close our hearts and minds
to the Wildness of Love.

Word of Love,
enter our hearts
as you entered the virgin’s womb.
Come, Lord Jesus!



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