Thursday, December 26, 2019

From the Edge

I am remembering back to my senior year in Seminary, 1955, when Weaver Stevens preached his senior sermon to the Seminary community gathered in the chapel. The time was near Christmas and he talked about the dirty, smelly stable where Jesus was born. A writer for the newspaper who lives in Jackson County recently made the same observation about the birth of Christ being in a smelling place along with unwashed shepherds.

My own experience, raised on an Iowa farm, has no difficulty with the imaging. And I would take the image a step further to say  has truth and learning has a pattern of coming from the margins. In mechanical drawing I learned the vantage point is always off the page. Thinking outside the box makes sense. Some of my best pastoral programs came from the margins, unexpected comments that generated our imaginations for possible outcomes. Having done so in various ways I continue to do that because that is the way to gain wisdom and wisdom gives life meaning. The vision and pursuit were introduced in one of the few books we had in the house when I was growing up. I was a junior in high school and the book of essays with a chapter on wisdom becoming my favorite.

Continuing in a poetic fashion here is a poem for Christmastide;

Christmas on the Edge by Malcolm Guite

Christmas sets the centre on the edge:
The edge of town, the outhouse of the inn,
The fringe of empire, far from privilege
And power, on the edge and outer spin 
Of turning worlds, a margin of small stars
That edge a galaxy itself light years
From some unguessed cosmic origin,

Christmas sets the contre on the edge.

And from this day our world is realigned
A tiny seed unfolding in the womb
becomes the source from which we all unfold
And flower into being. We are healed.

The end begins, the tomb becomes the womb

for now in him all things are realigned.

 to be continued from the edge,

Marlin Whitmer
Retired Hospital Chaplain, now a community facilitator. Maybe global? Ha!

I read this poem before our gatherings of friends and family this Christmas. The twelve days of Christmas makes a good setting. The poem was well received. 

A book received this Christmas as a gift could be said to be from the edge. A gift from an artist who knows of my interest in metaphors. Your way of conceptualizing the world is imbedded in the poem.

No comments:

Post a Comment