[Ed. note: This poem, by our own choir member and vestryman John Goodman, was published on AdventBirmingham.org several years ago. It gets better every time I read it. – CWG]
by John Goodman
How could they have known not to come
On what amounted to pretense? Everything
Their learning held, all their beliefs
Said regal gifts were needful for a king.
The things they brought were left behind,
Doubtless; or maybe traded for bread:
Impecunious Joseph with a family
To feed, a roof to put over his head.
Before these star-gazers even made it home
The bloody swords of Herod’s boys did ring
Down the streets of Bethlehem; the baby,
Meanwhile, was on the run. Some king.
Did one of the astrologers live long enough
To hear some wild-eyed wanderer from the west
Explain what had transpired? Was the word given:
“Before you came in blessing, you were blessed”?
I like to think for one of these, or all,
The world did not remain as it had seemed:
Drawn now to a cross, as before to a stall,
Their lives, their worthless gifts, now stood redeemed.