Have Yourself a “Mary” Little Christmas …
To the angel’s annunciation
“Then let it be according to your
The angel winked, Amen.
And so it was
as her belly stretched taut
month by month
while her womb swelled
she felt the
echoing inside her.
Let there be light.
Let us make human beings … in our holy image.
And it was … all … very good.
What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor?!
Let justice roll down like waters!
Do justice, chase after mercy, act humbly.
And as her contractions
Lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age:
God with us.
Making this world holy—
Is not this the fast I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break
every damn yoke?
Mary remembered the angel,
and returned the wink,
clenching her eyes tightly
in labored agony
before opening them again
to the Word.
David R. Weiss – December 8, 2020
About the poem …
Of course, when Mary says, “Let it be according to your word” (Luke 1:38), she’s referring most directly to the angel’s annunciation that she will conceive and bear a child through whom God will save God’s people (Luke 1:28-35).
But theologically speaking, every word of God is like a fractal – holding within it every other word of God. And together these words always, always, always speak liberation and justice, flourishing and peace … to the whole of God’s people … and beginning always, always, always with those who are “the least of these.”
So I imagine, with the angel’s wink, that Mary’s consent opens herself to the whole of God’s liberating word as it forms in the child in her womb, beginning in those echoes of creation itself (Genesis 1: 3, 26, 31) …
… continuing in the echoes of the prophets who speak in the very voice of God directly against injustice (Isaiah 3:15, Amos 5:24, Micah 6:8).
I imagine in her contractions an anticipatory echo of the final words Jesus speaks (Matthew 28:20), a sort of bookend to the angelic promise of “Emmanuel” at the very start (Matthew 1:23).
And how can this Word do anything other than spread holiness and wholeness across the world?
Finally, as she bears down to birth the babe, I imagine in these fierce contractions the restless declaration of God (Isaiah 58:6). This verse, as well as any other, sums up the Word that was born on Christmas. Thus, Mary’s final wink and “Amen” is her rejoinder to the angel, “Yeah, let’s do this! Let’s turn this baby—this liberating Word—loose on the world.”
* * *
David Weiss is a theologian, writer, poet and hymnist, doing “public theology” around climate crisis, sexuality, justice, diversity, and peace. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more at www.davidrweiss.com where he blogs under the theme, “Full Frontal Faith: Erring on the Edge of Honest.” Support him in writing Community Supported Theology at www.patreon.com/fullfrontalfaith