The Work of the People

NOV 27, 2015 - Visual Liturgy

Nativity, Abstract - Joseph

Nativity, Abstract

by Kelly Ann Hall 

As we continue to create space this Advent season, consider structures in life that God’s Spirit may be trying to reframe, to make room and allow for more. It could be anything, try not to limit or judge what comes up. We continue our  abstract expression of the Nativity this week with Joseph, Mary’s betrothed.

Take this moment 
to breathe deep;
and feel:
your ribs
the lifting and lowering 
of your diaphragm,
your shoulders. 
Relax your jaw.

Take 
one 
more 
full inhale
exhale…

Let go, and let God.


Joseph


I am a craftsman like my father. 
Placing my hands upon his 
he taught me to peel back the bark of the cedar,
to smooth along the grain
slow, methodical. “Stay with it,” he’d whisper.
Through his determination 
I learned to cut, carve, sand, and seal.
My work speaks for me,
          this table and chairs heard me swear;
          these shingles know how uncontrollably I sweat;
          the door embellishment tells my attention to detail, my ethic.

She came to me, explaining wonder and honor,
the magnificence of your Love!
I came unhinged, honestly, 
my heart set on her…
Who expects a Love like this?!
The kind of Love 
that allows a man 
to bear his wife carrying the child of another?

I know it is you! 
She glows with you! 
She grows in radiance!
She is awestruck…and I am dumbstruck.

You say not to be afraid, but I am!
What new husband isn’t the least bit intimidated?
What new father isn’t a bit unsure?
No man is incapable of adapting, expanding.
I can…I am just hesitant, resistant.
This family is unorthodox!

But, let your Love grow between us, Abba, 
and he will reside in my heart as our firstborn.
I will shoulder and cradle him, 
guide him, provide structure for him to grow.
I will invite him to explore my world, 
place his hands upon mine and together build: 
a fishing boat,
a cart and plow,
a yoke.

Our work will speak for us.

Allow me the blessing of fathering your son, God,
and I will adopt your Love as my legacy.

I will make room.

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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