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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: Not the First Noel: A Journalist's Take
By Regina Rupert
11/19/08


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Christmas: My Eyes Glaze Over.
Where is the “shock and awe”
in the monotony of muzak carols
and syrupy, say-nothing commercials?
I want white hot news
even if I have to stand in sheep dung
to get it.

They did—
burlap-sporting yokels
toughing out the night
in the cold
on a rock pillow.
But they got the scoop,
and straight from the angel’s mouth
at that.
Give me prickly hay
and a dank ceiling
where I bump my head
ducking down to see if that baby
really is in the feed trough.
How about some what-the-heck-is-going-on moments?
Terror? Pain?
Now it’s getting interesting.

But we’ve heard the story,
seen the movie,
the sequel,
the reruns.
Twenty times.
Old news needs embellishment:
Santa! Snow! Stockings!
And if all else fails,
retail therapy.
God knows we all need therapy.

Still, here we are,
hanging the lights
and stressing over the gift list,
the Nativity playing harmlessly
in the background,
like "It’s a Wonderful Life"
every year
on TV.

Sometimes it helps
to start from scratch.
God did.
The One who fills the universe
wrapped himself up in
a 6-pound, 20-inch body
with no muscle coordination
or bladder control,
tied on a bow
of swaddling clothes,
and put himself under the Christmas tree,
so to speak.
Here’s the best bit:
my name is on that Present
and yours is, too,
whether we’ve been naughty or nice.
God knows we haven’t been nice.

This is where any good reporter
quotes first-hand witnesses
and includes expert commentary:
Zechariah declared,
“Praise be to the Lord. . .
because he has visited
and redeemed his people.
He has sent us a mighty Savior.”
In the Apostle Paul’s words,
“Sin pays off with death.
But God's gift is eternal life
given by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And this is where anyone
with any manners—
make that capacity for gratitude—
says thank you.

Thank you, God.
Thank you.


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This article has been read 255 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/22/08
Wonderful free verse! I hope you'll soon be moving to a higher level.
Sonya Leigh11/26/08
This poem is edgy and smart. What a great juxtaposition of Bethlehem's Christ against today's outrageous commercialism. You even managed to weave O.T. prophecy and N.T. fulfillment. You have a terrific way with words and a keen, creative edge. Brilliant.
cindy yarger11/26/08
I enjoyed this. You had a good mix of message and wit. Good job.
Deborah Porter 11/27/08
Regina, I just wanted to let you know that you did very well in the Challenge this week. Even though you didn't quite make it into the winners' circle, you made it into the highest rankings for Level 1, placing 13th for the level.

The competition is always quite intense in Level 1, so well done. Keep up the great writing.

If you would like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can see them here:

http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=343147

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)