The Lay of the Lord: Birth–“The Seed”

[MOD: This is part 2 of Chris’ excellent poem. Read Part 1]

Posted by Chris

The Seed

Whether it was a moment or two in heaven’s estimation,
in our time it was half a year,
when this celestial herald set out once more
to the land of the Hebrews east of the great sea.
His errand now more precious, and more cosmos-upending than the first,
yet over the mountains of the kings and priests he passed,
into the less spectacular north,
and of the northern places, lesser still,
into the dusty alleys of Nazareth,
watching over the tramp of Gentiles on the plain of Esdralon.
Some feared that the stamping of the dogs
had deadened more than just the soil,
yet from this questionable ground grew a shoot
from which the grapevine of all the earth would spring.
So heaven and earth met again
as Gabriel traversed the streets of the town.

Meanwhile, in the bloom and flush of youth,
the young girl went about her day.
As complicated and as multi-layered a life as anyone of us knows ourselves to be,
and anyone else would know to be who looked past mere appearance.
To such shallow looks, perhaps, poor and hopelessly dead-ended,
yet in her simple world she was a bustle in preparation
for a new life with a good man, and filled with quiet piety.
How could she know the thoughts of Jehovah towards her.

All this beautiful mundanity ceased
when suddenly from the cooking she turned,
and saw a figure of fierce gentleness in the door,
who like a living contradiction
greeted her with words so opposite of any expectation:
“Favored of God, the Lord smiles upon You”–
struck her with perplexity.
The stranger, sensing her confusion,
moved to tell her of the grace which compelled his mission,
and yet if he sought with common cliches of comfort to assuage her,
surely the words fell far too short—or rather too high.
“Mary, do not fear,
grace to you is given, and favor too,
for of your people’s Deliverer you shall be the mother.
The eternal King of heaven and of David from you shall spring forth.
Jesus shall His name be, for God shall save at last.”

The weight of all time, and all space, and all of everything,
were in the the measure of such few words,
yet her reply was simple and concerned,
as to how this would be for one untouched as her.
For not since Yahweh had of old fashioned the earth from nothing
had such a thing of wonder so occurred.
But that angel, who had sung for joy at the first forming,
both knew and said the ancient Power would once again mull over the void,
of womb instead of space, and from it would create a masterpiece of manhood.
An added comfort did he give in closing, if comfort could bear in upon such weighted words,
that she too who had known the void of barrenness within her, Mary’s cousin Elizabeth,
now awaited the fruit of natural birth, a son of her own, fit to be his cousin’s herald.
And with a faith that saints would strain to show in easier times,
Mary submitted her being and body to the will of heaven:
“Let it be to me according to your word.”

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~ by thebardling on December 4, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Lay of the Lord: Birth–“The Seed””

  1. […] thebardling Posted in […]

  2. […] [MOD: This is part 4 of Chris' excellent poem. Read it in order: Part 1; Part 2; Part […]

  3. […] The Lay of the Lord: Birth–”Greetings” [MOD: This is part 3 of Chris' excellent poem. Read the whole thing in order: Part 1; Part 2] […]

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