I know that we Lutherans don't really do much with Mary (at least not as much as our Catholic brothers and sisters), but as we look toward Christmas, it is certainly a worthwhile time to ponder Mary, and the way that her own story is twisted about the story of God coming to earth in Christ. In honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, therefore, I offer two beautiful poems about Mary that I stumbled upon during these last few days.
"December Eighth" by Sr. St. Francis, S.S.J.
Beloved, Mother of us all,
To-day we remember
That, of all earth's millions,
You, Mary, in the womb,
Were shining, whole,
You only, O Morning Star,
Lighted the clouds of sin and waiting.
You only, Immaculate Ark,
Glided above the depths of the primal curse;
For you were to bear safely over those waters
Emmanuel, your little Son, from whose baby hand
Streams the rainbow up which we climb to God.
You only, little white moon, are the crystal
Reflection of our Sun.
But for your whiteness, O Gate of Heaven,
We had never entered, nor seen our God.
But for your loveliness, O Mystic Rose,
We had never breathed the Rose of Sharon.
White Tower of David, Ivory Tower,
Princess whose beauty lured Love's kiss when life began,
Mother, who died a thousand deaths for us,
We thank Him for you.
To-day, when He smiles to see His image in you, clear,
"Mary's Song" by Luci Shaw
Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest …
you who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world. Charmed by doves' voices,
the whisper of straw, he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed who overflowed all skies,
all years. Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught
that I might be free, blind in my womb
to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.