As I sang “Away in a Manger” along with the children in church today, I thought of how songs like that often conjure up mental pictures of creches inhabited by Precious Moments type figurines and Christmas cards decorated with cute and cuddly animals. All so soft and sweet. And yet, in reality, powerful stuff was going on there in Bethlehem–of cosmic proportions. The manger scene actually sat at the center of a spiritual war zone. I once composed the following poem to express this concept. Here’s what was essentially going on at that period of history, beginning then and running through the next three and a half decades, to stretch from there into eternity:

Light Fight

Shadows and light


A star

spears the dark,

sparks insight.

The sages, confounded, profoundly are struck,

take up the low cloak of the pilgrim, and go.

Bursting the silent backdrop of night,

armies of light

assault  the deep darkness.

In starry-eyed trembling,  the lowly

look up,

fall down!

It resounds:

wealth welling up in a choked sob of wonder.


The linen,

The lampstand,

The darkness,

The tomb,

all filled with the Presence that fills up

the expanse:

Cloth-wrapped and laid in

A manger,

A grave.




new day!

Light come down to dusky arrest,

J’shua fit the battle,

and the darkness is dead.