An Advent Poem

An Advent Poem December 16, 2016

This guest post is by Jill Crainshaw.

"Contemplating Mary" by Sheila G. Hunter, used by permission.
“Contemplating Mary” by Sheila G. Hunter, used by permission.

of the setting-free kind

the setting-free kind if you know it
you should speak it
sing it like Mary did in the Bible: “God casts the mighty

from their thrones and fills the hungry with good things.”
but sounds of children’s growling bellies never score
in department store magnificat melodies.
doesn’t anybody get that “gentle Mary meek and mild” was

rasping out a revolution song? her belly swelling with
truth no one would want to hear: “God has scattered
the proud in their conceit. God has cast down the mighty from
their thrones and lifted up the lowly.” but how could we know? she was

“just a woman.” a teenager pregnant before her time and worse
pregnant before the wedding. what could a woman’s body
know? so somebody positioned her in a tableau and
left her there until Christmas day. then with

Mary attic-stored until the next cyber Monday
we sing instead Jesus loves me songs while our ears ring with
clatter from posturing pundits and politicians who can’t hear
the difference between the fickle-false fire of their own voices and

truth of the setting-free kind.


Jill CrainshawAbout Jill Crainshaw
Jill Crainshaw is a PCUSA minister and Blackburn Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She is the author of several books on worship and ministry.

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