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Ring Joyful


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Ring Joyful

An angel called to Mary one day.
"You will have a baby," she heard him say,
Now not yet married was Mary - however
The obedient girl just said, "Whatever."
                             The Christmas Story
                              by William Holmes

A time, 2000 years ago
a young girl, Mary, thought to be
15 or so, would skip and jump
and danced to the joyful rhythm
of the tinkling bells on her skirt.
Making music with gentle sway
meandering about her room
and into her parent's walled yard
to stargaze at night. Then she'd pray.
An angel called to Mary one day.

Being devout, she had no fear.
No tocsin rang a warning sound
within her immaculate heart.
She saw the glory of his soul
and simply listened with her own.
She invited him in to stay
With grace he accepted and bowed
then entered to the soft ringing
of the angelus. "My Lady,",
"You will have a baby": she heard him say,

What must have travelled through her mind?
Her innocence was unblemished.
Her love for her God unquestioned.
Just how would her parents react?
Her friends were sure to be surprised.
She would not be thought to, never
would others think she would give birth
so young. Yet a joyful peal rang
from within. They prayed together.
No, not yet married was Mary - however,

She was promised to a young man
of good heart. She did not want to
break it. Unsure of etiquette
appropriate to inform him,
she was assured he already
knew and rejoiced. He'd not sever
their bond, his commitment secure
and he still loved and cherished her.
In typical teen endeavor,
The obedient girl just said, "Whatever."
                        ~~Judi Van Gorder

Notes: ▼

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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The success of this poem, Tinker, is in the setting up of the scene and tone of the poem which was consistently carried out until the end building from the lines of Holmes. A fresh new way to recount the angelic encounter.

But Holmes must have not read his Bible accurately. Mary at her age during the encounter showed a proper reverence and submission to the holy privilege. She was also well versed in the Bible (then just the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament). She quoted and alluded to several Bible passages in her response when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. In that context only, Holmes last line does not do justice to Mary.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Thanks Joel,  I apologize if the poem offends anyone.  When in search of 4 lines for my poem, I read so many poems with a Christmas theme, all saying the same things in typical yuletide speak.  Mostly involving Santa, snow, sleigh rides and trees.  Whenever I can, I try to keep the reason for the season my focus.   Then I came on Holmes lines and it made me laugh.  A reminder Christmas is about Christ's birth not holly and presents, even though the words could be considered irreverant.  And that in all of her grace, Mary was a kid.   However pious, she was a young teen.   That was the focus of my poem, showing her humanity. Connecting the Blessed Mother with the teen of today.  Of course she would never have said, "whatever".  But she wasn't rattled.  She accepted without question.  "Whatever" 😀


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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No problem with that Tinker. I personally do not believe in the version of Christmas popularized today as it varied significantly from the Bible version (there were no three kings but astrologers, and they came to a house not a manger, for example). Yet, people do not care that the popular version are all built on untruths. So, it is not surprising that Christ is an accessory to this holiday than the center of it. 

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only have a King James Bible and an Estonian Piibel, and I'm certainly no expert in them. I have not studied the original texts in various languages, but I think it's important to remember that even the experts who have done that disagree with one another on certain details. I think this is okay, because I also believe that it is not possible, at this time, for mankind to understand everything, much less explain it.

While I have only good thoughts about people more learned than myself, those people who have kept the First Commandment better than I have by studying the Bible and endeavoring to understand all of it, I think it's important not to lose sight of the big picture by getting bogged down on less significant details e.g. actual dates, the time of year of various happenings, etc. We cannot possibly know these things. For example, I love to ask people when they were born. They all tell me the dates. I then ask them, "But how do you know? Do you remember???" That's why it has been said swear not; let your yes be yes and your no be no. Just because someone hands you a piece of paper saying when you were born, and even if you believe your birth mother, you cannot possibly know. After all, how does she know? Just because most people today in New York City agree that it's December 30, 2018, is it proof? How can we possibly know that some pope or other religious/political leader in the year 1,083 didn't arbitrarily change the date and insist that it was something else. Maybe it's really 1992. Or 2,027. Who knows, and what difference does it really make when it comes to the message of the gospel? I'm talking about consensus. Consensus is a starting point, not proof of anything. And that's why I believe that a person's relationship with God/Christ has to be personal. At the top of every organized religion's hierarchy are only other people. No pope, priest, minister, group of elders, etc. is fit to intervene between a person and God … or Jehova if that's what one believes/insists His name is. Again, Respect, but not something to get bogged down with. The big picture, the message of salvation which Christians probably (hopefully) mostly agree on is what matters.

As for the big picture, that message, I think God's love for mankind is probably limitless. I don't profess to understand it, but I also don't think it's so easy to lose it no matter what one has done. If it's true that God sacrificed his son Jesus to save mankind, then it would trivialize what God has done if one were to conclude that God is off waiting in the shadows, holding a wild card hoping that people screw up by violating some small rule(s). Whether it be "I ate meat on Friday" or "I received a blood transfusion" this is petty, and insistence that doing one or the other has trashed someone's future with God trivializes what God has done through Jesus.

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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