During the conception of this Christmas poem collection, I determined I needed a series poem to weave the threads of the other poems together. I also wanted to write a new poem. “While Bethlehem Sleeps” fits these requirements.
The series contains nine poems based on the biblical characters of the Christmas story. Each begins with “While Bethlehem Sleeps” and then introduces the reader to a different personae. My goal to respect the biblical narrative while retelling the story poetically required much research. As a result, God blessed me with greater understanding of His character and His salvation plan.
For instance, the poem highlighting the word Shekinah may be the shortest, but its depth of meaning is vast. Shekinah refers to the presence of God resting on the mercy seat–the Ark of the Covenant–in the Tabernacle’s Holy of Holies during the Israelites pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Only Moses could enter the Holy of Holies, and he required a veil to shield the people from the glow of his face. Then, picture the travel-weary couple and rag-tag shepherds gazing into Incarnate God’s face as they surround the innkeeper’s crude manger cradling Emmanuel. No wonder the angels sang!