by Virgina Kimball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Moment of Nativity

A tiny, tender grasping little fist
wraps his mother’s finger on that glowing day,
so small and warm, holding tightly on …
newborn’s first contact, mother-infant bond.
This mother’s love is ageless, a sweet kiss
on a son’s cuddled, moist head -- her way
discovering a gift of love upon
a red birthing mat in that darkened cave.

He’s a gift of light from God … of touching,
a truth divinely lent as she nurses,
creation’s miracle always spinning
in fresh moments of eternal birthing.
So fondly in a brief glimpse of clutching,
the infinite bubbles out. And curses
of darkness, cold separation in winds
of loneliness from God, are bathing
in the midwife’s washing pool
which thrusts her child, like a fool

into frigid water of our days
soon surely swirling with the Spirit’s warmth.
Can we remember what the prophet says?
We forget.  Forget … as the mother’s breast
spills calming milk into his rooting mouth,
feeding hope for sustenance in life’s  test.

She smiles.  Timeless little one gurgles.
Through that door of hope, a door ajar,
life forms creation’s gentle realm of flesh,

enlightening the mother’s waiting heart,

insight to GLORY in the Christmas crèche.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas, 1996

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Evangelium

With trust, Miriam took that fearful step
from simple joy as “little girl”
to the throbbing task of being human,
and pulsing into womanhood.

From home with Anna and Joachim,
from angels’ care in the temple’s call,
interrupted by El’s divine plan …
she recoiled, startled in a pensive mood.

Busy at the task of spinning thread,
Gabriel came running, sent to enthrall
a hurting world with Yahweh’s love, a Son …
the long-promised gift of Mighty God.

“The angel said to her, ‘Rejoice,
the Lord is with you.’”  In these words, all
time stopped.  “Blessed are you among women!”
“Troubled” she wondered … was this from God?

El’s mouth spoke: she had “found favor with God.”
It made no sense. “You will conceive ... shall
call His name JESUS.”  He will be Son “
of the Highest” – of Jesse’s rod.

How to fathom?  Her son would “reign over
the house of Jacob … forever!”  It will
have no end!  She pondered this design …
like all prophets who heard the call and hid.

Trembling, she whispered … “I don’t know a man.”
But her heart “knew.”  “The Holy Spirit will
come upon you … overshadow you.” Then …
thrusting into Shaddai’s love, she nodded.

Shema, Israel … Adonai, our God!
Her chair, now the seat of wisdom; the still
in her womb filled, the temple a virgin.
She agreed.  “Let it be done to me.” El’s Word

dwelt in warmth of flesh, divinity kept
in a new ark. Life’s waters which God called
“sea,” earth’s  new fruit, and every being
… shining now in sustaining Light of God.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 1997

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Come, New Sun!  Son of Life’s Mother …

The days turn from darkness and brevity
to increasing life and light …
In Your arrival of day, glory pierces scarcity
with love, comfort, and bright …
Nine centuries into living-gold Newness,
Our mother came and showed …
Care, medallion on fountain blue dress,
Oval Sun in her Protection glowed …
Angel Gabriel always herald of breaking
in, haste in walking the Way …
She, the temple now of God, always mother
like the vision in Blachernae …
wrapping us in her red, life-giving veil,
… we, the body of her Sun in life’s vale,
… we, who no longer wail,
… we live, now and forever, in this stormy gale!

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas, 1998

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Glory in Time

Look into his mind … as he sits there head in hand.
We know his trial … as we walk our daily life.
Joseph, so apart! … protector as Abba planned.
Cornered in this icon … called to guard the brave young wife.

Look into his heart … there resides the voice of God.
We find that spark …spirit burning deep within.
We sit, too, gazing … wondering what is our rod.
Cornered in our days … called, too, to embrace the Son.

See the holy man … as he struggles with his will.
We are born again .. pondering the steps to take.
We argue our call … shout to heaven for our fill.
Burdened like that Jew … complete obedience to make.

***

His eyes sadly down … see the bursting light around?
Our troubles darken … trapped in time we look for hope.
His dream brought sense … and, yet by his faith is found
realms of gleaming joy … all about are ways to cope.
Open our eyes,
Open our ears,
See the glory arise,
Listen and hear.
Life begins now with the water we drink,
No need to ponder and think …
The Son’s water is here,
And there is nothing to fear.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 1999

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Eighth Day … the Sting of Love

Mother Miryam bundles
New Creation’s tender form.
God’s Son, warm in passing
from his mother’s womb …
soft and wrapped with love,
cradled, hidden in her arm,
a sweet flow’ring bud, safe from harm,
… vulnerable,
… human,
… Life-giver among us from above.
 

Separate from the breast, unbound,
from milk, from kiss, from safety found
… eight days passed, now oozing blood to pledge the One.
(Creation done, complete in seven mythic days,
God did rest, having birthed in mystery’s way.)
Now Law transcends law,
now eight days and New Creation
stretches tiny arms, and yawns.

That stinging edge of cold stone
pierces His tiny
instrument of life.
Prophecy of death …
in a world that hopes for hope,
hangs on to love,
and trusts God’s will.
The Child wails,
and mother pales.
Something’s new in Jewish time.
Now this mother knows
He can thrust down death’s sharp nails.

Cherish this precious child!
Cuddle Mary’s innocent bundle
of gurgling life in your hurting heart.
God and humanity – no longer apart.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 2000

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A Story of Nativity

I
Timelessness once created time …
by word of Other!

Two earthlings embraced restlessness,
wanting no other,
but themselves in a selfhood-ness.

II
Timelessness entering into time …

by Word of Other!

Then Timelessness was restless too …
(love’s deep dimension),
breathing creation anew.

Mary challenged the dark chaos …
that Shalom lost;  trusting Being –

like lotus open to Spirit-ness.

Earthling’s feminine spoke her “yes,”
Eve and Adam born with new light,

earthling’s answer to Other-ness.

Woman trembles as life enfolds …
mother aching with Passion’s gift,
Mary throbbing with Life Untold.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 2001

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The Christmas Fountain

Christmas winter sends frozen crystals blowing.
Skeletal oaks silhouette
a steel gray sky; then snowing
clings on bent brown stalks, and the wetlands splinter.
Can trust awaken hope in the grave void of cold,
for the Transcendent warmth to abet
a tortured world, bereft of light, pierced
with darkness and lingering regret?

Divine springs               Life Force
bubbling forth,              never ebbing,
always abide,                ever warm,
gurgling life.                  ever alive.

Flowing over, swelling, tide permeating, enlivening,
existing in spilling pools, nurtured in a Virgin’s vessel.

Biblical waters alive … Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates,

Well of Jacob, Pool of Siloam, Jordan River, Sea of Galilee.

Jeremiah’s cistern, an unfathomable well,
holding Nativity’s gift of new Life,
cradled
by Zoethokos,
Mother of Life,
fountain of the Fountain,
bearing again and again … .

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 2002

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Flight to Egypt

Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until
I tell you.  Herod is going to search for the
child to destroy him.”
(Matthew 2:13)

Then Yesou warmly snug,
slept secure at Mary’s breast.
All seemed safe for now, unless
that hardened hate of lonely
Herod caught them, already …
thrusting Christ to desert road.

See, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud on his way to Egypt (Isaiah 19:1a)

New mother with un-stalled hope
bravely bore the Sinai peaks;
old man Joseph’s job to press
a journey round bandits’ way,
obeying Yahweh, now to
float the Nile as Moses did.

… and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence (Isaiah 19:1b)

Town to town the icons fell,
a child’s sign, wadi to tel;
aged Joseph and his charge,
crossing banks from east to west,
paddling long Egyptian barge …
raising springs at Christ’s bequest.

When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son (Hosea 11:1)

Cave to cave, then saga home,
time and space turned upside down,
Star’s glory to hidden-ness,
death to life in Exodus,
one more pillar set to see …
what in glory now can be.

Virginia M. Kimball, Christmas 2003

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Cover Me with Your Love

A garment
of love and protection:
Yahweh … showered
on trusting Mary

when she embraced the One as mother,
mother of the Son,

mother of Another.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in God;
for God has clothed me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, a
nd as a bride adorns herself with jewels.
(Isaiah 61:10)

A linen
the Child’s soft shroud-like cloth

bound and … wrapped

with anxious hands,

a gentle, tender, mother’s soothing,

rhythmic cradling,

time persuading.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in
bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger …
(Luke 2:7)

Her sleeved arms
wrapped warm His life, the Son,
and enfold … us too,
as Child’s child in her care.
A womb wider, wider than the Heaven,
Heaven a place,
this sacred space,
Love embraced.

O most holy Mother, we praise your holy Protection, through your goodness
and maternal compassion … O Mother, watch over us in all our needs.
(Orthros, Liturgy of Protection)

Her robe clutched,
a Son’s last instruction,
He bent to John,
“Behold, your mother!”
She spreads her veil, watches love signed in nails,
still mother in grief’s vale,
Always mother without fail.
 

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved
standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
(John 19:26-27a)

Babe once garbed
in earth’s womb,
nurtured in a cave,
brings light from Far-Beyond!
Then Life pulses from One … so unknown.
Now so human,
in Mary’s gown,
a gown renowned.

Virginia Kimball, Christmas 2004

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Wife and Mother En-fleshed with God

She "knew" the Lord

"Therefore, a man leaves
his father and his mother
and cleaves to his wife,
and they become one flesh."
Genesis 2:24

Like man for wife yearning,
two completed in one,
as love in love burning:
God’s creation plan done.

Miriyam knew no man,
a seed of trust her part,
love of God with passion,
humankind’s hope, the start.

She who "bore" the Lord

"Before I formed you in the womb
I knew you, and before you were born
I consecrated you."
Jeremiah 1:5

God knew her and blessed her,
prophetess in God’s land,
faith like ours yet deeper ...
married, without a band.

Gentle mother wrapping
round life within her womb,
something like awaiting
his rebirth in the tomb.

She who is wife unwedded

"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth shalom (one-ness)
among those whom Yahweh gives joy."
Luke 2:14

Rejoice for little things
wife-mothers do all day.
In marriage, life She brings,
One among us to stay.
Theos, God, offers love:
Deus, New creation ...
joins mother in one-ness
with Presence, poesis.
Excelsis, from above,
Glory for all stations.

Mary, mother of life
the
theopoiēsis,
Mary, wife and mother,
Deo in excelsis!


Virginia Kimball, Christmas 2005

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Source: Meditations on the Nativity of Our Lord, a collection by Virginia M. Kimball.

 

Boundless Joy  

 

Joy grows like life in the womb ...

 

So the Bethlehem baby

came one starry night

bathed strangely with angelic light

born in a cave much like a tomb

to a scared young mother using all her might.

It was Mary’s flight to the  hill country home

to confirm Yahweh’s call with her cousin dear.

Now on this night so cold and clear,

she pondered the words of Hannah before,

words treasured to explain why she bore

(if only Anna were alive to see,

a mother touched too with mystery.)

Hugging her cousin for comfort and love

then was Mary so gripped in fear,

Elizabeth too then touched with awe

spoke of joy and how it comes from Above.

Throbbing pain of woman’s work so near

they spoke of new and emerging life  

--promised and now to fulfill

Creation’s renewal as God’s kind will.

Woman’s heart proclaimed like Miriam’s joy,

seeing beauty that God can employ.

So Luke wrote how Mary sang forth:

"My heart proclaims the vast love of God,

my spirit is living and growing with joy,

... Behold, from now on all ages will know

the Presence is here--Emmanuel!"

 

Virginia  M. Kimball, Christmas 2006

 

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Coptic icon of the Nativity

 

Glory Comes

 

when those cosmic particles

spun in frenzy, imploding

chaotic trails in nuclear circles;

while planets formed, sudden order exploding ...

were we there?

 

when that primordial wind

calmed waters, separating

volcanic sea chimneys from firm primal land

and life lifted up, with God's hand creating ...

were we there?

 

when Moses climbed Mt. Sinai's

rock face, precipitously

clinging to the Voice of Life at summit,

encountering WHO IS mysteriously ...

were we there?

 

when our saucer galaxy's

showed it generated

before humanity's reality;  

Being formed being and love penetrated ...

were we there?

 

when that night Mary's labor

started in hidden darkness--

animals bundled in hay first to meet

One whose hand held time, primed motion, and loves ...

were we there?

 

there we were: when glory birthed,

(Incredible Force thundered

glowing light on the startled face of Moses;

Son of God robed on Mount Horeb in brilliant light

revealed momentarily our Transfigured Christ) ...

but He came bundled in swaddling cloths,

born naked from a woman's womb,

born vulnerable in Adam's race,

born with brightness shining in Heaven's place,

born in Bethlehem ... when Glory came, to us!

 

Virginia  M. Kimball, Christmas 2007

 

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Coptic icon of the Nativity

 

Thoughts on a Christmas Card

Never did she notice damp limestone walls
steamed with moisture by nearby oxen breath ...
neither did she mind the huddled sheep's baas
nudging one another by the horse's stall
neither did she shoo chickens' loud fervor
clucking, clucking for coming time to roost
nor did it matter upon a hay's mat
warmed by wee lambs for a long night's labor
woman's work birthed in this cave's shelter
nothing new to happenings in a barn
flickering lamp, waiting as long hours passed
no surprise for creatures knowing darkness

only as the new morning light outside
crept into dark morning's sudden, soft cry
did Mary sleep, her tiny babe at breast
embracing new creation's light arrived,
cosmic lit by angels and star above,
quiet glow of tranquility and love

 

bucolic scene, our Christmas card so grand,
happiness and joy, singing in the land ...
yet can we forget, as time and years roll,
the prophet's words still nagging at our soul?

 

"The ox knows its owner,
and the ass its master's crib,
but Israel does not know,
(and the people of our land),
God's people don't understand" [Isaiah 1:3]

O, creation's Lord, bring us back again
to glory a mother's baby began.

Virginia  M. Kimball, Christmas 2008

 

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