I recently came across the poem “Kenosis” by Luci Shaw in Malcolm Guite’s excellent Advent book ‘Waiting On the Word: a poem a day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany’.

For me, this poem captures something about the fragile hope of Advent and the Incarnation of God in Jesus, about just how vulnerable God became in order to dwell with us, encounter us, to enter into our joys and our sufferings, and to bring reconciliation with all of humanity and creation.

As you contemplate these few verses, notice how delicately drawn and closely observed is Shaw’s description of the new-born Jesus.

In sleep his infant mouth works in and out.

He is so new, his silk skin has not yet

been roughed by plane and wooden beam

nor, so far, has he had to deal with human doubt.


He is in a dream of nipple found,

of blue-white milk, of curving skin

and, pulsing in his ear, the inner throb

of a warm heart’s repeated sound.


His only memories float from fluid space.

So new he has not pounded nails, hung a door,

broken bread, felt rebuff, bent to the lash,

wept for the sad heart of the human race.

Can it really be that the God of all the universe was this small, this needy, this weak, this reliant on the love and care of another? We also see in the poem, intimations of what is to come in Jesus’ life, ministry and death. Can it really be that the God of all the universe would go through that for us? It is our Christian Hope that – yes! – God would!

And, in response to such a God, we continue to wait, we continue to celebrate and we continue to commit to following Jesus during Advent, Christmas and our annual Covenant Service on 13th January.

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year…

Every blessing Rev Tanya