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We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(x = space)

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We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(Christmas Eve)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The child is God

But who knew that?

Mary and Joseph

Angels

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?

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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

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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

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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

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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)

Forever

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Sweet, little Jesus child,

They made you be born in a manger;

Sweet, little holy child,

We didn’t know who you was.

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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.

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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

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And for this night we way

Welcome to the world, child,

And everything that starts

Now

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C L Couch

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could be a choral or a choir reading

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

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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.

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Photo by Agung Raharja on Unsplash

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Stone Soup

(x = space)

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Stone Soup

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I don’t know what to say today

I want you to have a good day

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And for a while

To know good days

And what to do when days are bad

Beyond the dreaming we all do

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So that it’s

What we know to do with what we have

Sometimes that’s hard

And hard to believe we have

I’m poor

I know

Too close to the legacy

Of art and artists

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But I know good people

Am learning to ask

And not gauge heaven by response

Or lack thereof

But to keep trying

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Also allowing expectation

We live

We are entitled to live

I don’t know about evil people

I know so few

You are entitled, too, I suppose

I am not God

And cannot judge as God

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But the many, many, many

Of us who are not evil, not pure good

A mix, you know–

Choose a complementary color

We are colors

We color the world

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And are deserving

You deserve

A good day and another

A whole bunch like bananas

Or corn kernels on the cob

Or other things so many colors

(as I’ve said)

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Anyway,

A wish is not a horse

Or an electric car

And, drat, we have to try

The curse of Adam, some would say

Eve is cursed as well

But curses are not endings

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“We have to make our own way,”

I just heard,

Which is true

And there’s so much more

There’s you

There’s me

And any me or you who happens

To be close to you or me

In distance

Actual

Or relative

(and there’s cyber-),

Which is to say

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A nearness

(actual or relative)

To help make life

One bowl of stone soup

At a time

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C L Couch

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     Stone Soup is a European folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as axe soup, button soup, nail soup, and wood soup.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Statue of a monk and stone soup (sopa da pedra) in Almeirim, Portugal

By Adriao – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7645719

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Escape Room

(x = space)

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Escape Room

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Once again

For Passover,

Too many now

Are refugees

Fleeing Pharaohnic tyranny

Fear from explosions

Falling walls

Broken bodies

Family annihilation

Other countries take them

Sacred and secular

The people

The new homes

More than Jews in Ukraine

More people leaving

Refugees from Syria

Those who are “repatriated”

(strategic term)

From island nations

To the south

Those who want to leave for life

From Mexico,

Parts of Central America

And when there’s disaster,

We flee from parts

Of our land as well

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Passover

For so many, many now

Might the angel of death

Give leave

For space and means

For victims

For escape

Blood on the lintels

Before leaving

Death for the victimizers

As angels

As an agency of God

See fit

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Passover

For Jews in Ukraine

Jews in Israel

And everywhere

Good people have to run

For life

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C L Couch

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For Jews fleeing Ukraine, Passover takes on new meaning

“Good morning! Happy morning!” Rabbi Avraham Wolff exclaimed, with a big smile, as he walked into the Chabad synagogue in Odesa on a recent morning. Russian missiles had just struck an oil refinery in . . .

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Photo by Vitamina Poleznova on Unsplash

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The Gospel

(x = space)

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The Gospel

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The gospel in a word

Is love

The gospel in a word

Is news

The gospel in two words is

Saving story

The gospel is for you and me

And all of us

Yes, it is

No one is excluded

No matter how we wish it so

We might be disbelieving

When we meet them

Later on

Even then

It is a book of love, after all

A story of salvation

Good news for everyone

No one excluded

No adult swim

No east or west

North or south

Exclusions

I don’t know about a ladies’ night

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C L Couch

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Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

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No Woman Is an Island

(x = space)

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No Woman Is an Island

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I exhale a puff of air

Carbon dioxide

And yet that’s all right for kissing

And for lifting the lungs

Of someone who’s in trouble

And not breathing

The kiss of life, we call it

And it is

Both sides of air being good

The oxygen, the CO-2

Both give life all around

Our daily allies on the planet

Are the plants in our

Inhale-exhale

Symbiosis

All is relationship

No one goes alone

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C L Couch

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No Man Is an Island, a poem, a contemplation, a movie, a song

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Photo by Kyle Wagner on Unsplash

Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory, Toronto, Canada

the greenhouse

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Who Wins

(x = space)

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Who Wins

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An empty room

Where there might have been a meal

Smell the hope and then the fear

And here’s a garden

Pretty

There was violence here

Now the plot is done,

Everything realized

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Another foe

Who sought to shift the blame

From Rome to us

Our need to have an enemy

To stoke our places

In tradition

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The others should be caught

The followers

No hurry

The serpent is now headless

Only nerves remain

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The world has won

And we are glad

Our own strategy to overthrow

Goes back into a box

In which there is less silver

To count

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An easy price

To pay

For indolence

Now back to lethargy

We have time

And everything is scheduled quiet

Scheduled noise

Again

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C L Couch

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Photo by Daniel Katz on Unsplash

Masada

Lookout through ancient Masada building.

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Convictions

(x = space)

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Convictions

(last day of Lent)

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I look around at everything

Liturgically, it is the day before

A triumph

Such as Roman victors knew

No wonder Herod was frightened

And Pilate tactically

Concerned

None of it was sanctioned

It spoke to rebellion

Though everything was peaceful

In that way

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I look around

And wonder about everyone

How to celebrate an arrival

And then turn on the one

A few days later

Or however long it took

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I want to say I’m sorry

I look around at everything

And say I’m sorry

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C L Couch

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Photo by MAURICIO EJCHEL on Unsplash

Jerusalém, Israel

Traditional loaf salesman at Old Town in Jerusalem.

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You before Me

(x = space)

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You before Me

(for everyone)

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You’re in line

In front of me for friendship

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We’ve been here

For an age

And hear the hits,

One hit at a time,

Behind us

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To feel the hit

Anonymous

Then know by instinct

Now

(it’s how the world works)

To strike the person

Back of the head in front

Anonymous (we’ll

get away with it)

And then receive

The things,

What people say

We’re due

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In a line of greed

Even for an age,

Someone must turn first

To receive the slap

Looking into the face

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Then the forward movement

Stops and painless

Possibilities considered

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It’s risky

Being hit so hard

(regulations say each

must hit hard),

But all good things are chances;

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Life might end for me

Or in part,

Begin for you

And everyone

Ahead of you

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C L Couch

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Photo by Srivatsa Sreenivasarao on Unsplash

Four Birds and Reflections

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Me before You

(x = space)

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Me before You

(for youth)

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Peace in our time,

Which implied more strongly

Than the message

That there would be no peace

In their time,

The coming generation’s

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We bargain with our children’s

Lives and should

Know better,

Abrogating wisdom

And the sacrifice of us

So that they have a world

Better than we found it

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There used to be a message,

Parents investing

So that children should have

Better lives than theirs,

A message that had stopped

Variably in the seventies

And eighties,

Not to mention attitudes

Toward annihilation

From the war that was so cold

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Sorry about all that,

All this

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C L Couch

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Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Freedom

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