Mild, He Lays His Glory By

Meditation on a Line from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Was it shaken off simply,
like dew
from a lamb’s fleece?
Or laid by, folded neatly
like linens
on a stone?
How did God separate
Himself from stars
to slum in sinew,
leave Power simply
lying in its place?
Did He thunder and tear into Time,
or was it soundless as a falling star?

If the Glory shed from You like dust
when You slipped beneath
the surface
into womb and world,
Then what was left
but us?

Surely, how you set aside
your birthlessness
to be a son
is a mystery too great.

But this we know –
You wrapped yourself in our world,
walked into crowded inns and closed hearts,
stepped into cells and stink and surrender.

Your Glory not cast off
but underground,
Gone to seed –
Buried deep in veins
like roots,
and through touch
tendrilling hearts to heaven.

All that Eternity still spread
through your bread-needing body,
for the stuff of sin itself,
fingers curling
once more
into dust.
Roots working beneath the curse,
breaking concrete from below –
raising sons
of earth.

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