we call You Emmanuel
because of this day.
On this magical morning
(and every Christmas morning)
we attempt to wrap our minds around a mystery
that exceeds our ability to fully understand.
You, who created the world,
visited our world as
You, who made the Milky Way,
suckled human milk from a virgin's breast.
You, who called the seven seas into existence,
cried salty tears in need of being comforted.
You, who rested on the seventh day of creation,
slept within a feeding trough filled with hay.
On this Christmas Day,
we recall the extraordinary strides You took
stepping across time and space
in order to experience life-with-us.
Laying aside Your glory,
You clothed Yourself in our skin exposing Yourself
to the sin of our making.
And after two-thousand years the sin of our making
continues to manifest itself all around us.
Having endured our human condition,
You ache with us, God.
But on those silent nights
when Your presence seems absence,
remind us that You personally relate to our plight
as we suffer in silence.
Admittedly, while we sing "Joy to the World,"
there is not much joy in our world.
Homelessness and hunger,
injustice and poverty,
abuse at home and war abroad
undermine our joy.
These chronic realities
prevent us from experiencing
the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness
our founding fathers pictured.
We deck the halls with boughs of holly,
but our hearts are draped in despair.
Unemployment is rampant.
Gun violence is unprecedented.
The political process is demoralizing.
Our personal and national debt is on the increase
while church attendance is in steady decline.
As much of our nation dreams of a White Christmas,
many of us are dreaming of a day
when the moral courage of a beloved black leader
would increasingly mark our lives.
Thank You for Nelson Mandela's example of forgiveness,
his pursuit of justice and his championing of human rights.
Yes, today we mark the birthday of the Prince of Peace
even as the death of a peace-loving president
continues to occupy our attention.
The global grief surrounding Mandela's passing
reminds us how a single life can alter the course of history.
So did Moses,
Esther, Mohamed, Copernicus,
Luther, Lincoln, Gandhi,
Graham, King and Teresa.
And we can.
May we honor this day
with more than carol-singing,
over-eating or gift-giving.
May our presence in this world
be the gift that keeps on giving.
|PO BOOKS BY GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS
Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009
Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.
"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world." – Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer
"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life." – Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist
Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.
A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.