“Becoming Christmas” (Kayla McClurg)

This is a delicious Advent poem from Kayla McClurg, one of the shepherd’s at the Church of the Saviour  in Washington, DC.  I was a member, friend and participant of the CoS for about 7 years.  God used one of the founders of the church, N. Gordon Cosby, to alter my life and path.  So, I am forever grateful for the presence and ministries of the Church of the Saviour and all who sustain it and embody God’s love through it.

Enjoy Kayla’s poetic words and rather than just celebrate Christmas, may the Spirit transform us so that we Become Christmas!


For December 21, 2014 – Luke 1:26-38

Even if one of the women hadn’t nearly delivered
her seven-pound baby girl right on the front porch,
I surely would have been writing this poem.
A poem about ill-timed gifts
and no place like home
and what a fine mess we’ve got into this time.
A poem about the coming of Christmas.

It’s impossible to live so near the homeless heart
and not think a lot about Christmas.
Frightened Marys
journey alone on dark and rocky roads
without resources, without reservations
(without Josephs)
burdened with child and child and child.
Longing for a place—just a space—to be
. . . to become.

Having so little, yet entrusted with so much,
like Mary, they carry the weight of the world.

And the hope.

They wait. They listen.
To the angel voice that first pulled them here
to the side streets of Bethlehem,
to the presence that now pulls them on toward home.

These Marys don’t know that their lives are a poem,
an acting out of the Christmas story,
and I don’t suppose it would matter much to them anyhow.
But daily they teach me
of the unexpected arrivals of grace
the mysterious disguises of God
the surprise of the coming.

I wrote this story-poem when I lived at Providence House, a collective of homes for women and children who are navigating major transitions. As I ponder again the words of the angel, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God,” I am reminded of the courage it takes to listen and say ‘yes’ to one’s own journey, to believe we are one of God’s favorites among favorites, especially when we have been sorely wounded by things like homelessness, imprisonment, shame, broken trust. Here we are – each of us a poem of the incarnation, if we will just let God have God’s impossible/possible way.

May it be so for all of us this year. May it yield blessing for our world. – Love, Kayla


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