(Zechariah, Luke 1)
In your one time of truth, at the altar of incense,
when all liturgy trembled before the angel’s sudden presence,
your tame faith cowered,
you faltered in your stance.
The ancient miracles, rolled in the scroll, you revered them,
but didn’t recognize God striding into your age
with love, power, rage.
True doubt crossed your lips, rose above fear.
How can I be sure?
Your question slipped faith’s cracked veneer, quipping disbelief.
Insulted Gabriel where he stood,
driving him in blazing grief to protect you
from the blasphemy of not expecting God.
Your lips now sealed
until your heart could affirm:
this is real.
Until you could read aloud
living words of grace
in the wrinkles of your newborn’s face:
a prayer heard, a son,
gift of God, John
Jan H. Cooper
Jan studied German and Rhetoric at the University of Illinois, as well as Biblical Studies at Dallas Seminary before becoming a wife, mom of four, and eventually Oma/grandma to seven. She has spent large chunks of her life in Illinois, Austria, Vermont and finally Pennsylvania. She loves to combine studying Scriptural characters with poetry.