Someplace, years ago, I read this, which I have since quoted many times

Tho’ Christ a thousand times
in Bethlehem be born,
if he’s not born in thee
thy soul’s forlorn.

This is the true summons of Christmas: to let Christ be born, be formed in us.

As I wrote in my poem Still Born

But, what if Mary
troubled by the angel’s
pregnant words,
flinching from the Spirit’s
shadowed touch
had weighed the odds,
felt the seducing weight
of the conventional way
and said,
“No”?

Or, if Joseph
concerned for appearances
protective of his fiancee’s
reputation
(and his own)
had listened to his common sense
and quietly broken
the engagement?

Would not the Child
still have been born
for the world?

But, what would have been
still-born
in them?

Please do not let what God is forming in you be “still-born” this Christmas.

Your friend, summoned on the journey,

Leighton

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