Reflections for

Nativity of the Lord, Dec 25, 2017

Proper 1: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Proper 2: Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20

Proper 3: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12); John 1:1-14


Kant at the laundromat

Between the plate glass
And the security bars
Hung a red and gold sign:
“Felíz Navidad.”

As my socks and dirty underwear
Churned with my jeans
I browsed a book
On that “most famous” passage in Kant
That lays open
The deep gash between
The world that is
The world that ought to be.

Above the rusty dryers
Another sign:
“Do not put babies in carts.”

Easy to imagine
The ugly gash
If one tumbled head first
To the unforgiving floor below.

No more I suppose
Ought a responsible mother
Put a newborn in a manger.

Ironic then
That we who say
“Felíz Navidad”
See beginning there
The convergence of
The world that is
With the world
That ought to be



               When we think of the blood of Christ,
                we think of the unnumbered insults;
                       the five wounds; the blood
                  beading from the thorn incisors
                          encircling his head

                        But what if, instead,
               we thought of the blue and red
              twining vessels of the umbilicus,
     what if we pictured the roseate and warm
          web of nutrients we call placenta?

                        Why not envision the body of Mary
               her autonomic brain as it was building,
                  creating a network of feeding and growing:
     caring and corpuscle, healing and hemoglobin,
 making a mammal’s four-chambered heart,
             fed by the rich cake we call placenta,
      shaping salvation’s vascular system?

                    Christ’s heart took shape in Mary’s body.
His blood first coursed her valves and veins.
      It was made with her womb’s weaving,
              overcast by heaven’s venture,
            manifest through serving love,
                      cell by alizarin cell.


Gathering Those Driven Away, by Wendy Farley

Wendy Farley formulates a theology of Wisdom incarnate--unleashed by divine desire, found in ordinary life and born in a manger.


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.