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ACW

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Monologues by Ros Bayes




Mary

I sit here in this shady room
where the shadows and silence have flooded back
to fill the space left by the angel’s departure.
I sit in stillness, pondering;
for the power of the Most High God has cast its shadow over me;
and the God who is light, in whom is no darkness at all,
has a shadow that is brighter than the midday sun.
The Spirit of the Lord has come upon me
to conceive His holy Child.
Last Sabbath, I heard the rabbi read
Of Messiah’s promised coming:
“To us a Child is born; to us a Son is given…
and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
So this is now the marvel and the mystery of my life and destiny:
the Everlasting Father has become my Son.
In this moment of reckless abandonment
to the purposes of God, I know
that from now, and for the next nine months,
my womb will be the centre of the universe,
and from now and forever, my heart will be God’s throne.  

Joseph

A carpenter knows how to take a raw material
and fashion it into a thing of beauty,
a practical implement or a homely piece of furniture.
But how do I take this baby – my son who is not my own –
and fashion Him into all that the Son of God should be?
How do I make a Messiah of Him?
A piece of wood with its aroma of resin,
with the beautiful lines of its grain,
has nonetheless its faults and imperfections –
stains where the weather has damaged the tree,
twists where the trunk has not grown straight,
knots where the wood is weak.
And a baby – a baby has its faults, its selfishness,
the taint of original sin –
but not this one. How do I raise a child
who is holier than I? The Son of God –
He will fulfil His destiny. And yet,
how I mould Him, plane and chisel Him, will shape
the man He grows up to be.
Holy Spirit, You who came upon Mary
to conceive this child,
come now upon me to raise Him.

The Shepherd

No one respects a shepherd.
Only a tax collector is more despised
in Israel than a shepherd.
An ill-favoured breed,
that’s what we are.
That’s why the really amazing thing
was not so much the angels’ visit
- terrifying though that was,
with the whole hillside flooded with the light and song
of choirs of holy angels praising God.
No, it was what they were singing
that was the really amazing thing:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace to men, on whom His favour rests.”
Priests and Levites, scribes and lawyers,
Pharisees and Saducees,
courtiers in the palace of King Herod
– they’re the favoured people.
But shepherds?
Yet we, the shepherds, despised and ill-favoured,
Were the first to hear that God’s favour
rests on us.

Simeon

You need eyes to see the Light; I have been looking all my life.
Today I saw that Light entering the temple,
the Light that shines in the presence of the gentiles, and the Glory of Israel.
I did not know exactly whom I sought,
only that I should know Him when I found Him,
little dreaming that the Holy One of Israel
would disguise Himself as a peasant girl’s baby.
And now, O Lord, you can set me free from this life in peace,
For I have seen Your salvation with my own eyes.
This Light will blaze over many people.
Some will rise to it and some will fall under it.
He will be opposed and rejected,
coming to His own, His own will not receive Him,
for mankind, whose deeds are evil,
still love darkness rather than Light.
But some will choose to light their flames from His,
and one day, in His Light,
the thoughts of every heart will be revealed.

The Magi

1st Magus:
Portents. All my life I have been watching for portents.
Omens of good or ill, dramas on the earth
scripted in the stars. A constellation here,
A conjugation of planets there,
foretelling the ways of God to man.
But that star – the one that rose above the horizon
that night as we stood gazing – that star
eclipsed all our astrological skill, told us
we were merely dabbling in something far greater
than ever we knew.

2nd Magus:
It was the star of a King –
that much was clear, but not just any King.
This was an eternal King, whose kingdom
would never come to an end, but would
increase and grow for ever. It was
not enough to see His star. This was a harbinger
of the one King in all of human history
whose reign would really matter.
We had to go and worship Him.

3rd Magus:
The little house where he lived, the artless country girl
and honest carpenter who were His parents,
these bore none of the trappings of kingship.
But one look at His face assured us there had been
no mistake. King of the Jews and King of the earth,
this helpless pauper child was the one
we had come to worship.
And if you saw the love, the glory, the unending kingship,
The undeniable deity of this very human child,
You would come to worship Him, too.


Ros Bayes has 7 published and 4 self-published books, as well as some 3 dozen magazine articles. She is the mother of 3 daughters, one of whom has multiple complex disabilities, and she currently works for Through the Roof (www.throughtheroof.org) as their Training Resources Developer, and loves getting paid to write about disability all day. You can find her blog at http://rosbunneywriting.wordpress.com and her author page at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ros-Bayes/e/B00JLRTNVA/. Follow her on Twitter: @rosbwriting.    




14 comments:

  1. I like the shepherd one especially. It's pretty incredible, that they were the first to hear, being nobodies out there on the hillside.

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  2. Yes, I love the way God does that, turns our hierarchies upside down.

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  3. I really loved this. I like your rhythm - it flows naturally which makes it delightful to read. I also really like your use of imagery, phrases like, "will choose to light their flames from His" really speak to the heart. The Magnificat is one of my favourite parts of the New Testament and you have done it justice. I read once that the powers and principalites really tremble before the humility and simplicity of Mary. Looking around me now, I can really see that their current representatives do not know what they have taken on!

    Thank you

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  4. Thank you for your kind words. It all flowed out of a kind of Ignatian meditation on the Christmas scriptures.

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  5. What a perfect Advent devotion for today. Envisioning thoughts of all those involved truly makes the Holy Mystery even richer. Thank you~

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  6. What a perfect Advent devotion for today. Envisioning thoughts of all those involved truly makes the Holy Mystery even richer. Thank you~

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  7. This is so beautiful, heartfelt and deep with meaning. These monologues shine a light on the very human side and likely response to unexpected heavenly blessing. Lovely! Thank you, Ros, for such an original take on a Christmas theme.

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  8. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments.

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  9. Wonderful - how would you feel about people reading them out in christmas services?

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  10. I originally wrote them for a Christmas service a few years ago, and am happy for them to be used.

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