After the angel dissolved, I stood among the skies,
no longer dressed in brown linen, but with fire:
the sun's silk my gown. I leaned into the swirl of gold and lit.
Have I created my Creator?text-align:center"
My mother clucks her tongue. Questions, she says,
cause confusion. She could never hold what I saw:
the crown upon this plain brown head,
twelve stars in motion, set spinning like a child's toy,
and rushing towards me, flames in its wake, blazed
the greater star, its hot white orb.
Should I tell you it entered me, how the warm simmer settled?
When I woke to this dirt floor, my mother's voice
in the next room, issuing me out the door,
I ran my hands down my belly,
knew what is real is the crown, not the dirt.
Later, when the nausea came, when the accusations
birthed, when all those I loved turned enemies,
I would stand in the garden, arms raised,
close my eyes and feel the spinning crown encircling,
feel this star descending into human form.
We praise you, O loving God,
who gave your very self in human form,
your majesty born into our poverty,
your love lying in an out-house.
We thank you that, amidst Bethlehem's noisy rush,
we find in you
a focus for our activity,
a hope for our humanity,
a love for all eternity.
But we confess that
Christ's birth has gone unnoticed.
Now, as then, we have not made room
in our day to day lives.
Now, as then, we have mislaid
your message of reconciling love.
Now, as then, we have ignored
the stillness of your presence.
Gift-giving God, forgive us.
Free us from our self-centeredness.
Help us to accept your love so freely given
that we may live
as you have called us to live. Amen.
—Methodist Church in Great Britain
Tree of Jesse from Capuchin's Bible, c. 1180, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
Today is the UN International Day of People with Disability. IDPwD brings together individuals, businesses, community organisations, and governments from every corner of the world to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions, skills and achievements of people with disability.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.