(x = space)



We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(Christmas Eve)


Let’s not slice it to death

This time

Let’s simply have observances

Let all the contradictions go

We know there’s folklore involved,

Which should fascinate


There was such darkness

At hand

Of one kind or another

Of the past, of

The present

Lack of awareness

Of the import of events;

Only to the players

Did things matter,

They in acts

No one to put it all together until Luke

And a little bit in Matthew and in John


Prophets old and new

We have to say

Knew and know some measure

Of the meaning

Of it all

They are extracted

And we read them, too


Such dulled and slow senses

Sometimes history goes that way

Sometimes it’s spiritual

The people walked in darkness

There might be other forces, too,

To keep us from the light


But it is there

The birth is there

Incarnation as a doctrine

Thought some of it at least

Might have been as any birth

A baby in the world

This one in a cave

And that’s unusual

And all around

The mystery

The strangeness

There was adventure in the sky

And from some people

Who in an iron empire

Chose to dedicate another lord,

Another life to follow


The child is God

But who knew that?

Mary and Joseph


And the magi knew something

While the shepherds were told something

As good news

This is the messiah!

Who really understood?

How could a baby save the world

Who is not Caesar

With family, tutors, strategists

Sheltered behind stone walls,

Armies out front

That keep the world

For them?


Well, other parts conspired

Into a birth, a life

That through faith

And later patchwork

Yielded doctrine

And a way

The people of the way


As on that night

(let’s call it a night)

There would be amazement

There would be awful things as well

But wonder now

And wonder later on

And with us, still


Praise God, for God is good

God is love

God is a spirit

Who wonders now

And offers light inside the darkness,

The kind of darkness that is not

Romantic but it

Stultifies and kills


Believe the child

Humbly, take the child in

To dwell with you

Maybe like a foundling, at the start,

Then as a teacher

And a savior

And a temple of salvation

In the city of God

(new heaven)

And on God’s free land

(new Earth)



Sweet, little Jesus child,

They made you be born in a manger;

Sweet, little holy child,

We didn’t know who you was.


Didn’t know you’d come to save us, Lord,

To take our sins away:

Our eyes was blind, we could not see;

We didn’t know who you was.


We didn’t know who you was

Maybe we should have

Maybe we can, now,

And into new ages

Love revealed

Prophecy fulfilled

The child grows up

We grow up


And for this night we way

Welcome to the world, child,

And everything that starts



C L Couch



could be a choral or a choir reading


“Sweet, Little Jesus Child” is a song of African American origin.  The precise source is unknown, and there are variants and variations.


This is the third in a creative, liturgical series for Advent and Christmas.  The other two parts are the last two days’ posts.  I think I’ll work on something else now.


Photo by Agung Raharja on Unsplash