I find inspiration in many places. My grandchildren and the things they say; people around me, their lives and deaths; nature; my own life, thoughts and feelings and circumstances; ideas and philosophies.
This past Sunday at Pointe North Community Church our pastor, Tim Dorn, spoke about “the Presence” as part of his Advent series The Gift. I must confess that my attention was briefly divided between the sermon and another poem that came upon me. (Sometimes I can remember the bits of inspiration for later; but I know I’ve lost a lot of lines to short term memory, so most times I try to write it down immediately. Such was this case.) But a single phrase stood out. Something I had not heard put quite that way before: “…the stable became the Holy of Holies.”
Now I have never viewed the birth of Christ as a sanitized event as depicted in most manger scenes. The earthiness of the first advent is something I have wanted to capture in a poem for some time. This short statement put it in a fresh light and gave me the inspiration needed to write the poem.
“…the stable became the Holy of Holies…”
–Pastor Tim Dorn, 12/13/15
The bearer of the covenant appears
through the door of this urban shed,
imperfect in its dimensions,
from the dark veil of night.
Dirt and dung covers the floor
of this ungilded Holy of Holies;
beasts of burden and field mice
bed in its sanctuary.
Layers of dust and chaff shrouds
this open Ark of Testimony
cradling the true bread of life,
the living staff, and the law fulfilled.
Starlight scatters shadows
through the slatted roof
illuminating the glory of God
in the face of a blood-covered newborn.
Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey