I See God (and the Beauty of Christmas) in A Long List of Old Names

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A few years ago I wrote this poem for Round Rock’s “Arrival” Christmas service. I wrote it from God’s perspective, and as I wrote I was overwhelmed by the preparation put into our rescue. God loved us long before we learned His name, and His arrival here on earth—all of Him crammed into baby cells, tissue, blood—was no accident.  Every day for all of human history God had packed, His trip long planned…


Packing {A Geneology Poem}

Even before I called them, “Adam, Eve, where are you?”

I’d already grabbed my bag

Unzipped and flopped it open,

A big, sturdy case,

Big enough for all of Me.

*

I drove them out, yes,

Out of our perfect paradise, our eternity of life.

I covered their shame in skins,

Watched them disappear beyond the hills,

And planned. Packed.

*

Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan,

Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch,

Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.

Tears fell like so much rain,

As I packed Justice, Mercy, Rescue.

*

Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan,

Shelah, Eber, Peleg,

Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah,

Abraham, my traveler, promised

In him I packed hope.

*

Isaac, Jacob—packing passion

Judah—power—Perez,

Hezron, Ram, Amminadab,

Nashon, Salmon (Rahab’s Salmon)

Packing, stuffing Grace.

*

Boaz (Ruth’s redeemer)—in Him I pack Love.

Obed, Jesse, David

My David. For him, through him,

I pack a King, a kingdom,

Courage, Glory, Song.

*

Nathan, Mattatha, Joseph,

Judah, Simeon, Levi,

Matthat, Joram, Eliezar.

Shaking my head,

While they worship lies, I pack Truth.

*

Joshua, Er, Elmadam,

Cosam, Addi, Melki, Levi.

For (in) heaps of hurting sons

I pack a Healer.

Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Rhesa,

*

Joanan, Joda, Josech,

Semein, Mattathias

In them, for them, I pack pain,

Better-making pain.

Maath, Naggai, Esli, Amos,

*

Mattahthias, Joseph.

Not that Joseph.

Still packing, cramming

My suitcase to bulging

With Presence.

*

Jannai, Melchi, Levi almost

Matthat, double checking.

Joseph. It’s time!

Joseph. And his Mary,

Full. Packed.

*

I close the bag,

Grab the strap,

and lift it onto My wide shoulders

I look at the time,

Time to go. Time to come.

*

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.