Christmas Gifts

My poetry professor, Dr. Lee M. Johnson, had a tradition of writing Christmas poems. The following one struck me as particularly appropriate to share right now, as we find ourselves between Nativity and Theophany – or, in the Western Christian tradition, between Christmas and Epiphany – especially in light of my Christmas homily:

The magi and the shepherds who were there
Beheld a wonder that we cannot share;
Absent, as usual, will we never see
A revelation or epiphany?
When will it be our turn in Bethlehem?
Or is it all that wise to envy them?
They heard some angels sing and saw a light
And know of something special in that night,
But further into time they could not go;
They did not know what their descendants know:
That light is Light, that night is Night, that love
Is Love restored to Life by God above;
They knew of birth; we know of death, and more;
What happens after saves what goes before:
The gift of Christmas is a pledge of peace;
The gift of Easter shows it does not cease.