Wednesday, December 31, 2014

20)JL Jacobs: On Patron Saints

On Patron Saints

Saint Michael, Patron Saint of Artists.
Beryl your color as the prophet Daniel said.

Should of had you
in the window over my shoulder
instead of the basement.
All along.

Call up a wind.

Bring in a wind that will blow the frankincense
out of my red curtained

Pianissimo now. Almost whisper.

Saint Michael. Saint Michael. Saint Michael.

JL Jacobs is an Oklahoma poet, the author of a handful of books including The Leaves in Her Shoes and Streets as Elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#19 Adriana Polanco: "Once Caroled"

click on the picture for a close-up

Adriana Polanco is a freelance Graphic Design Artist living in Guatemala, Guatemala with her amazing husband Mr. Suazo. She's also talented translator working for Life of Hope Ministries, has impeccable taste in music, and prays big prayers. 

The quote comes from a previous 25 Days poem, which can be read here.    

Monday, December 29, 2014

#18 Chris Krycho: Startlement

“Startling”: this is the best word I can find for the doctrine of the Incarnation. It is the most surprising of all the miracles. Every miracle is a surprise, of course; it would not be a miracle otherwise. Still, there is something uniquely and specially striking about this one.

God became a man.

C. S. Lewis called this the central miracle of the Christian faith, the miracle on which all others depend: if this one happened, then of course all the others are possible. What is feeding a few thousand people with five loaves and two fish compared to the transcendent One becoming immanent? What is healing a centurion’s dead servant, set next to the Creator squealing at his mother’s breast? What is walking on water or calming a storm, for the God who took up the image of the image of God? Not to make little of these miracles—they are in no way trivial or light. But the Incarnation stands apart.

Even the resurrection of the Son of God is less surprising than his birth. Once God had taken up this frail form, it seems almost unthinkable that he would fail to raise it from the dead. We must never minimize Jesus’ resurrection. It is the means of our justification and the basis all our hope. It is the rock beneath our joy in the long and painful days that stand between us and our own restoration. Its enormity remains. But still, it seems to me less astonishing than the Incarnation. Death has always been an interloper; its reign was always temporary. The Creator-God wrapping himself in creature-hood was never something we could have guessed.

Look closer. The wonders—the strange, delightful paradoxes—mount up.

God does not change. The Father and the Son and the Spirit are as ever they have been: perfectly united, delighting in each other, needless and complete. And yet, in that marvelous moment in Mary’s womb, there was a permanent change. The Son was then, is now, and will forever be, a human being. He never ceased to be eternal God—not for a moment—but now he is also everlasting man. It was the first and only beginning in the being of God.

God is spirit; he dwells in unapproachable light; no eye can see him and no hand touch him. Jesus the Messiah, though, is a human being through and through. He is David’s descendant, and Judah’s, and Abraham’s, and Noah’s, and Adam’s. He is not invisible at all. Nor is he merely a hologram, an image without the substance of the thing. Other hands touched him, in hope and in hate. His own hands grew blisters when he first learned to use a hammer at his father’s side, touched in healing and forgiveness, were pierced with real nails, still had holes Thomas could when he was raised. His feet had calluses from walking the dusty roads between Jerusalem and Judea.

The Triune Godhead is not taught and does increase in understanding. All knowledge is his from forever to forever. Yet Jesus learned. He grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man; he learned obedience through what he suffered and so became perfect. The immortal, invisible, only wise God took up a mortal body that died, displayed prominently for all to see, in the supreme act of foolishness as the world judges such things. When it was finished, he did not cast away the body as so much detritus. He kept it and raised it gloriously new, beautiful and undying.

God needs nothing. He is totally, completely self-sufficient. Everything that has ever existed or ever will exist, he created, and without his sustaining power everything would immediately cease to exist. He does not sleep, and never needs to eat. The Father worked through the Son to create all things, and it is in the Son that all things hold together. Yet when he walked this earth he ate and slept and had to put away his body’s waste. It was not the appearance but the reality of need. He was both a little boy getting thirsty as he ran around the hot streets of Egypt, and the one who ensures the water that would refresh him continued to exist.

God is holy. He is unassailably good, perfectly just, unfailingly righteous—and Jesus’ family history is a series of portraits of human sin: an adulterous murderer, a Canaanite woman of ill repute, a man who slept with his daughter-in-law, and more than a few who worshipped carved-up rocks and trees instead of God. We were made in the image of God, the mirror of divinity, but the humanity the Son took up was shattered and dirtied beyond recognition. Theh body the Son took was not one crafted not to share our weaknesses; it was like ours in every way. This flesh he baptized, and this flesh divinized. We have come to share truly in the nature of God because God came and shared truly all the nature of man.

The Creator joined with his own being a created, broken thing. Of course every sad thing must now begin to come untrue. If that restoration comes slower than we might hope, we can sense its inevitability nonetheless, like slow-growing vines spreading cracks in some great edifice. The walls will fall—maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but they will fall. Human being, has been joined once more to divinity, as it was meant to be from the beginning. Someday we will be right again—maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but we will be right again.

Every miracle is a surprise, but the Incarnation of the Son of God astounds us at every turn, until it makes every other surprise seem all-but-inevitable. When unchanging God has undergone a permanent change, invisible God has become forever visible, unneeding God has experienced need, unlearning God has learned, immortal God has come to die in a mortal body—what does “impossible” even mean?

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Old things are gone. All things are new. Glory to God in the highest.

P Chris is a husband and father, theologian, writer, developer/designer, runner, Lord of the Rings fanatic, composer, Whovian, and Ultimate player. .

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#17 Julia Sołek: Joy to the World (Raduj się świecie)

Julia Sołek is a medical student from
Łódź, Poland;  besides being really smart, she's also a talented artist, a supportive friend, and lovely singer. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

#16 Michael Walker: Dawn Raid

Dawn Raid

Star who stood sentinel to guide wise men
Famed among celestial kin,
Where have you wandered, over those golden sands?
For no man follows now.
I don’t see you.

Once upon a time
On that first night –

You stood in the East, and poor men flocked,
To where angels sang their songs;
Over stinking stable: blood, sweat, placenta –
Marking a new King’s birth.

But who watches now? Who marks your course?
No cosmic map for this lost child’s world,
No light to light the sky -
As sands drink blood of men slain
And carrion fowls, and cageless crows
Take the angels’ place in the sky.

Come, all Ye Faithful, come.

Come, from this moth eaten kingdom, come;
To the doors of an eternal dwelling house, come.
From bloody exile, come -
To the Stable,
To the table,
Of the brighter Morning Star.

And watch as kings of this world cast down their crowns,
By starlight, at this infant’s feet:
The King has come, the darkness shudders
At this dawn raid,
His shaking light.

Michael Walker is a young writer from Plymouth, England.  He's a passionate servant in his church and loves playing the piano and good coffee.  Check out his blog @

Friday, December 26, 2014

#15 Diane Metelak: The Next Day

The Next Day

There were long, weary days of anxious activity, tedious travels and accommodations to be found-
Followed by a night of intense labor, noisy commotion, unexpected visitors, and bright lights from heaven.

And then-
Then there was
The Next Day...

After the delivery, all the preparation and rejoicing, there was the calming quiet of normalcy.

Of course, their normalcy was forever changed by the birth of their first-born son. A son who, they were told by angelic visitors, would one day stand up and proclaim himself to be the Son of God, the Messiah.

But, until then, there was the day-in-day-out routines of feedings, diapers, childhood milestones and scraped knees.

The average,



Storm-filled seasons, hot and sunny days, days of work and exertion, and days of rest-
All formed the rhythms of their days.

To be sure, their family would experience some unusual situations-
The unexpected reception from an eager old man and a widowed prophetess when they brought their infant to the temple to dedicate him and offer their sacrifice.
Another angelic visitor bringing warning and exile to another country- fleeing in the night to avoid a jealous king's deadly rage.
The visit and gifts from exotic guests from faraway lands...
Yes, those were exceptional days.

But, beyond the few verses that speak of these events lay years of NORMAL, everyday, life.

The party is over. Food is packed into the fridge; songs and laughter give way to silence. The guests have all gone home, and the furniture has all been placed back in its usual arrangement. After a night of welcome sleep, the new day dawns overcast and clouds drip raindrops all afternoon. It is quiet in my home and heart today- peace on earth from resting in the knowledge of grace. Another day, a day to be still and recover from the labor. And I ponder what she must have thought on her Next Day...

'Cause I know Mary had a part in a pretty spectacular birth story- the most miraculous one ever-
but there were many, many more days
of toil,
and labor,
and hardship,
and monotony.

What was The Next Day like?

Much like any new mother, she must have experienced pain and discomfort, fatigue and bleeding, waking from rest to feed and care for her baby, all the while depending on Joseph to help her with the daily tasks of living, and in her recovery.

It is The Next Day, and life goes on-

The memory of light, and angelic voices, dirty shepherds and smelly animals, pain, and fear, and joy- all will be stored up in her mother's heart.

But I imagine she welcomed The Next Day-
for its silence,

for its rest,

for its "normalcy."

It is The Next Day
and God-
The God of yesterday, today, and forever-

And we walk in this truth every day. Hearing echoes of angelic song, and sprinkled with stardust from heaven, we carry the Light of His presence into tomorrow and whatever it brings, the mundane and/or the miraculous.

Diane Metelak, 26 December 2013.

Diane Metelak is "team mom" and a homemaker in Klaipėda, Lithuania.  After raising four children and living in over 23 different homes on three continents as a military, and currently a missionary wife, she can pretty much do anything.  In her spare time she writes, bicycles, studies, and is involved in mentoring young adults and encouraging other women.