Sunday, December 19, 2010

Change in Bethlehem


Dec. 19, 2010

Advent greetings, friends,

A word about change from Madeleine l’Engle:

The Bethlehem Explosion

The chemistry lab at school
was in an old greenhouse
surrounded by ancient live oaks
garnished with Spanish moss.

The experiment I remember best
was pouring a quart of clear fluid
into a glass jar, and dropping into it,
grain by grain, salt-sized crystals,
until they layered
like white sand on the floor of the jar.

One more grain—and suddenly—
water and crystal burst
into a living, moving pattern,
a silent, quietly violent explosion.
The teacher told us that only when
we supersaturated the solution,
would come the precipitation.

The little town
was like the glass jar in our lab.
One by one they came, grain by grain,
all those of the house of David,
like grains of sand to be counted.

The inn was full. When Joseph knocked,
His wife was already in labour; there was no room
Even for compassion. Until the barn was offered.
That was the precipitating factor. A child was born,
and the pattern changed forever, the cosmos
shaken with that silent explosion.

Madeleine l’Engle,
From A Cry Like a Bell

Where do you see evidence of that “silent explosion” in your life?

Still living into that cosmos changing event,


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