Verse on the first Christmas

“No Christians Were There”

No Christians were there at the birth
of Jesus. (For “…disciples were
first called Christians in Antioch”
years later.) But were those who were
there believers? the shepherds, the wise
astrologers, the non-father,
the Blessed mother? Did they see
with eyes of faith, or more like we
do: wonder, ponder, doubt and stare
at the small baby stabled there…?

That three were Jews, we know for sure.
The genealogies we read
in Matthew, Luke, go back as far
as Abraham. Eight days, we read,
then circumcision for the babe.
The Arab wise guys may be from
the land we call Iran. The sheep
herders may have been aliens
in the land illegally: cheap
pay for smelly foreigners.

The barn contained no royalty–
the stock had better pedigree…
and yet some say a King was born
to poor folks that the rich would scorn…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Dec. 21, 2013

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