The Ghost of a Chosen Legacy

The ghosts of a chosen legacy

curl in rattling whispers, echoes of that

tarnished triumphal exodus rendered by the cleavage

of a foreboding sea and heralded

through the inciting song of Miriam.  

The Israelite root hacked down, defiled

and tormentingly grafted in the crucible promise

of a pagan adopted daughter to a widowed Mara,

the gleaner only rescued by the bestowed favor of a kinsman redeemer,  

his honor bound by the threads of marital covenant.

The tangled ancestry unfurling to seize

the confused anxious heart of another Mary

through the radiance of an archangel—

She as yet to be consecrated as those selected maidens

of old, like Esther, baptized in pungent myrrh before her submitted betrothal

to a king of whom she would plead the sparing of Jews from slaughter;

Gabriel, Gabarel, ageless warrior messenger of God, rips through the ether of heaven

to announce the Lord’s ravishing upon this new Mary.

A wonder intoxicated with fear for the potential scapegoated shame

that might smother this girl so now obviously compromised

according to the stiff-necked judgment of her human family.

But still this divine inflorescence of the real Ben Adam (the Son of Man)

blooms in the firmament of her womb—

in the sixth month of the pregnancy of the formerly barren Elisabet

(who encapsulates the promise, ‘God is my oath)

shockingly resonant in the arc of prophetic fulfillment with the original begat,

the genesis of human beings crafted from stardust

and gifted with the breath of the one who says “I AM”

Word incarnated in flesh in a weaving dance buffered by blood and water,

Speechless mother joy at the soul of Immanuel

who will cry out all the broken groaning of a world

where only the ears of shepherding pariahs receive him

on the night of his crowning

Jennie Stephenson is a junior at Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Michigan, with a major in animal biology.

Reformed Worship 117 © September 2015, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.