Becoming Flesh

Written By:
Dave Hopwood
Bible Refs: John 1:14
Lectionary Weeks: Christmas - Proper 3 (Year A), Christmas - Proper 3 (Year B), Christmas - Proper 3 (Year C)

This is a poetic imagining of what it might have been like for Jesus in Mary's womb. Dave Hopwood has used this unusual setting to give us a really fresh and insightful angle on the familliar story. Obviously, this needs to be presented as a piece of creative writing rather than a scripture reading, but it could be very thought-provoking as to the plight of Mary, Joseph and the unborn Christ. It is split into three readings, so you could spread it across a service.

Extract from the poem:

A rhythm.
He can hear a rhythm.
One beat after another.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
A heartbeat in time with his own.
Comforting, reassuring, reliable, as he makes this voyage, an exile of sorts, sailing in this amniotic sea, on his way to another world.
Cramped, confined. He was destined for a bigger space than this. A bigger world.
And sounds, so many sounds.
Clangs. Bashes. Sighs. Laughter.
The voices muffled, coming from all around. Loud, quiet, some going on and on.
Words-words-words, words-words-words, words-words-words...

Today she seems happy, and his world expands when she relaxes.
He sways a little, she must be walking, taking him somewhere.
Familiar greetings ring out, voices warm and welcoming, the sound of smiles.
Then silence.
He feels his world tighten, constrict a little.
The voices change, becoming shocked, jarring, angry growls.
His world tightens again. She doesn’t like it, she recoils, he recoils too. Just a little.
Voices grow louder still.
Questions, questions, questions.
Sharply asked with no pause for a reply.
Her heartbeat is going faster. Quickly, quickly rapping out its urgent, snappy rhythm...

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Dave is an author and speaker who loves communicating the Bible using contemporary media, humour, illustrations and stories. He is author of several books retelling the Bible including The Groovy Gospel, The Bloke’s Bible, and Film & Faith. He goes out speaking by invitation and regularly publishes ideas and material via his website:

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