Advent Thoughts 2

Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 9.10.12 AMManger, by John W. Frye


Mary, quick, resourceful in the moment,

Spies a manger* and makes a bed

For her newborn son.

Strange, these startling times

Jammed with angels;

Babies named John and Jesus arrive

On heaven’s cue

While wide-eyed mothers laugh out words—

“Barren no more!” and “Who? Me? I have never

Ever known a man.”


God scripted the angels’ song that

Sweeps the fields of sheep and shepherds.

“Manger*” is heaven’s word; the swaddled one

Points, sign-worthy, to deep inscrutability,

To mysterious maneuvers

As God, the newborn,

Wiggles on earth.


Let us be swift, run with the herdsmen

Who, on angel orders,

Seek the Child—

The good news baby

Born when and where

As promised.

For even Imperial power stoops

As God’s servant

On this fateful Bethlehem night.

There it is, the manger.*

There he is, the Son, the Sign, the Savior.

Mary, quiet, reflective in the moment.



*I’m fascinated by the three references to the manger

in the Luke 2 narrative. John Greco helps us feel

the anomaly of the manger by imagining we enter

the maternity room of a newborn and find the child

curled in a dog dish on the floor.

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