Beyond Words

December 24th, 2010

EMU Student Deb King
By Deb King, masters in business administration student

Luke 2: 1-18

I can’t help but marvel at how Luke’s account of Christ’s birth seems so utterly commonplace. It may have something to do with the short sentences with very little embellishment – just straight information. It reads a bit like my grandfather’s diaries. “This morning I had cereal for breakfast then drove to work. For dinner, Anna prepared meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas – no dessert.” When something special happened in my grandfather’s life, he used a red pen to record it. “Today our first grandchild was born at 9:20 a.m. Mother and baby girl are doing well.” Adjectives are nearly non-existent, so the only sense of passion comes through in the vivid color of the ink.

Luke tells us that the expectant parents had to make a trip to register for the census but were unable to find lodging in the crowded town, so their baby was born in a stable. Sounds like just another day in Luke’s diary – that is, until the shepherds meet the choir of angels. Then Luke begins to use words like “terrified” and “amazed”. As the shepherds leave Bethlehem, Luke’s tone changes in one sentence. The focus switches from the euphoria of the group to the unspoken thoughts of the young mother. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I imagine Mary holding her newborn son, gazing at his tiny face, considering who he would become. I wonder if Mary’s diary was filled with red ink or passionately descriptive modifiers. My guess is both.

Lord, as we gaze upon Jesus’ face this season, may our journal entries will be bursting with colorful words, whether we experience exuberant moments with friends and family or quiet, thoughtful moments in solitude.

One Response to “Beyond Words”

  1. SaraAlice Zimmerly Says:

    Dear Deb,
    I appreciate your reference to your grandfather’s writing and I like his “color coding”.
    I also like the King James words that the shepherds were “sore afraid”.
    When Hurrican Andrew hit our home I stood at strict attention all night wondering if the roof would hold, hearing the glass windows breaking on the porch, wincing when each tree uprooted knowing that there was going our livelyhood, wondering wheither we would live or not, and if the neighbors lived.Yellow green lightening showed the pine trees going horizontal in the screaming wind. My sisters stood beside me and the children were pillowed in our grandfather’s rocking chair – asleep. The day the storm passed, I realized that I had sore muscles everywere . It was the only time I remember being terrified. I was sore afraid.
    That’s how the shepherds felt when they saw/heard the vast multitude of the heavenly host. They came from Heaven, for God’s sake! Would the shepherds live through that? it was all encompassing, and overwhelming. Nothing prepared them for it and they were sore afraid.
    It would be interesting to know what Mary was thinking. Thanks for sharing. SaraAlice