Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Two Births

Two Births
Carl W. Jylland-Halverson

A cold night in ole Italy saw
the Fool for God
observing all
How the Emperor’s wife and retinue came
to mark the arrival of a royal child
with pageantry and fame

Physicians and clerics
ladies and lords
subjects high and low
Did bow and honor
such a child
in whose veins the royal blood did flow

Trumpets blared and banners flew
The criers announced the news
Dignitaries from the first estate
arrived to pay their dues

The noble Poverello noted
the stark contrast that night
between the regal child
and the long ago
prophesied arrival
of the humble child of light

My King, he said, had no place to stay
His parents poor
and rejected along the way
Beyond the City of David they came
to obey Herod and the rules
of the Roman Empire game

Two royal births touched him
only one would he recreate
to help fellow believers grasp
the significance of the birth upon their fate

To Greccio the saint made his way
to a mountain cave
and to a village people the friar had his say
A simple manger he made that old December night
Gathering animals and townsfolk
he staged the child’s birthplace right

Transformed to Wise men, shepherds and angels all
the townsfolk responded to Francis call
with new eyes their vision was made clear
They knew their Savior was truly near
On that night in Greccio “God made flesh” was real
the simple gift, the love of God, each participant did feel

On that night the Logos
Creator of the all
came to dwell upon the earth
and negate the fall

All dependent for His care
to be fed and changed
self-made vulnerable and bare
He gave up all
to be one
with the weak, the poor, the ones who gave the call

God made Flesh
the cycle began
humility to take a stand
Against a world of power, cruelty and greed
from Incarnate to Passion
but first a child lying where the animals did feed

A simple town and a simple man
came to know the Creator’s plan
the night a humble birth again took place
when a humble friar was open to God’s Grace

And so Assisi’s Fool for God
observing all helped others see
a humble birth
self-sent for you and me
A king, a priest, a judge, an act of Grace
this humble birth was Love from Love, God’s embrace

The living nativity started on the night
when a simple friar’s faith
illuminated Greccio with a love glowing bright
in thanksgiving to a Creator who choose to dwell on earth
of a Creator who stepped down from heaven and experienced a simple child’s birth

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