Thursday, December 27, 2007


The final verse of the reading
the lesson for the Hebrews
Jesus was tempted
Other tellings
of the same lesson
say he was tested
An interesting difference
thesaurus needed for the nuance
the related meaning; but a difference too
for he was tempted by the devil
tested by life’s travails
to be the worthy sacrifice,
the humble servant king
the anointed priest
all while fully human
tested, tempted as we are
in trying, fitfully,
doing the Father’s will

December 27, 2007
Hebrews 2:10-18


His life a test
more than our own
it would seem
tested as a human
in our bodily form
but faithful where we are not
living the law and the prophets
fulfilling the scripture
playing out his role,
known from the beginning
but followed none the less
his will as God’s will
humbly bowing to the Lord

December 27, 2007
Hebrews 2:10-18

A Sacrifice

Unlike Isaac,
given, offered up
by the father alone
He was a sacrifice
anointed by the Father;
but given too
by his active choice
accepting the cup,
bringing it to his lips
the crimson stain
Offering himself
as the one pure sacrifice
needed to seal the breach
we could not fill
the gap we could not cross
between man and God

December 27, 2007
Hebrews 2:10-18

All of my poems, photographs, and videos are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. All rights are reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss (  for usage. See all 46,460 of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

His Humanity

For he was human, just as he was God
His humanity the very point
the means of our saving
was his humanness, his testing
his choices to be faithful
to live the law and the prophets
as a human, to reconcile us
to God, in the flesh
as a human, to give all
to do all that the law required
the one human
able to earn grace
through the crucible of life
the resurrection after death

December 27, 2007
Hebrews 2:10-18

A Royal Priest

He was king, God, human, sacrifice;
but he was a royal priest too,
able to do what no other could do
offer a worthy sacrifice,
a real unblemished, sin sacrifice
able to go into the holy of holies
able to go behind the veil,
to walk before God
the Father, to offer
once and for all
an atonement
this singular royal priest

December 27, 2007
Hebrews 2:10-18

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A PJ Day

Unlike yesterday, Christmas Day
a more leisurely start, middle, and end
of the day, at least so far
Awake more slowly,
two hours later
Drawing quietly
in the living room
crafts and coloring
easing into the morning
poetry and drawing
a little time on the computer
all while staying in pajamas
each one, different choices
different reasons, but all
enjoying immensely
their PJ day

December 26, 2007

Every Jot

By every jot, every tittle
every little bit of the word
so was the telling of His story
the beginning of the Good News
a set of proofs
reference and cross-reference
to the fulfillment of the law
the prophets, in the birth,
life, death, and resurrection
of the babe in the manger
the humble servant king

December 26, 2007
The Book of Matthew,
Matthew 5:17-18

Saved by a Dream

As with his coming,
by a dream foretold
so was his saving from
the fear of the king
by a dream he was saved
from the scythe that set Rachel to crying
the reaping of the innocents
by the king’s order
killing those
who would threaten him,
unaware the one was
saved by a dream

December 26, 2007
Matthew 2:13-23

Being John

To be the hands, the feet
the living presence of Jesus
here in this time and place
We must all, in the first instance,
we must be John, the witness
in the wilderness
the voice proclaiming
the coming of the Lord
the sharers, the heralds of the Good News
the saving grace of God
All prophets, witnesses
to the means of grace
the actions of angels,
of saints around us
down through the ages
starting with the people of the Book
the ancient peoples of the covenant
down to the present day
who seek to do the will of God
to follow commandment and urgings
to walk the path and reap the harvest
and come home to the kingdom

December 26, 2007

The Fear of the King – v2

Fear of the infant, the boy
laying in the manger bed
the king humbly born
feared by the king
for the foretelling,
the fulfillment of the prophesy
in a land of the word
a people of the covenant
praying for their salvation
from the boy in the stable
though they didn’t know him
the fear of the king
raging at the saving of the king
by the wise men three
who went another way

December 26, 2007
Matthew 2:13-23

The Fear of the King – v1

Genocide, infanticide
a people, cut down
losing innocence, innocent lives
because of the fear of the king
the ruler’s fears
the cause of mass killing
indiscriminate rage
blood on the lintels no help
for those born in the age
Reaping by the king
in fear for his throne

December 26, 2007
Matthew 2:13-23

Rachel’s Tears

Cries for the lost children
the children of Israel, of Rachel
tears of the mothers of the land
the covenant parents crying for their dead
the innocents taken by Herod
cast into the darkness,
taken oh too soon
because of his fear
his hate, his cowardice
at the coming of the king

December 26, 2007
Matthew 2:13-23

After the Presents

On the drive East
on the way to Gramma’s house
presents unwrapped
toys discovered
Dressed in their Christmas dresses
new winter coats, clean and warm
singing to the carol, hugging their friends
new stuffed bears, cats, cheetahs
watching the world goes bye
until slumber catches up with them

December 25, 2007 and December 26, 2007

In their Winter Coats

Warm in their new winter coats
in the backseat on the way to Gramma’s
three angels dreaming
Christmas carols on the radio
still in their dresses
new stuffed animals
cradled in their arms
On the way to Gramma’s house
asleep in their winter coats

December 25, 2007

Dancer - by Erica Berberena

I am like a dancer
dancing gracefully on the
stage with no fear from
The crowd.


GAZELLE - by Erica Berberena

I am like a Gazelle
Jumping gracefully
From here to there
And everywhere.


Story - by Erica Berberena

I am a story
Waiting to be written
And read by many


Rose - by Erica Berberena

I am a rose
With a beautiful red color
Waiting to be picked
For a beautiful bouquet.

3/15/07 10:25AM

Artist - by Erica Berberena

I am like an artist
Making a beautiful
Picture of a
Lovely sun set.

10:20 A.M

The Wise Men were Women

Lady Wisdom came in threes
at the edge of the chancel
in our church’s pageant this year
this Christmas Eve
A change of fortune
a reversal of Elizabethan theater
our wise men were women
confident capable girls
ably filling the roles
raising their voices
in the retelling of the babe’s story
the gifts of the Magi
for the one in the manger
The journey from the East
a bit different this year
when the wise men were women,
or girls at least

December 25, 2007
Wesley United Methodist Church,
Concord, NH 12/24/07

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

In Praise of Bit Players

The pastor spoke of bit players
of the people in the story, the word of God
with small, sometimes unnamed parts
We too, in the congregation, so often
held up, support, by the unknown bit players
in the life of the church, our journeys of faith
nurtured, our paths made clear
by those unseen members,
doing their part to be the body of Christ
living as Christians by doing
even when unknown, bit players
And for them we rejoice
and give humble thanks
and boundless praise

December 25, 2007
Matthew 1:18-25

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 30,730+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

A Running Angel

A burst of familiar motion
racing down from the chancel to my pew
A very serious angel
needing to go out of the sanctuary, urgently
a race in daddy’s hand down the center aisle
halo swaying and wings flapping
carrying her on the wings out into the narthex
a stop in the bathroom;
“Dad get my halo, it fell off!”
Blurted plea, exhortation
No time for your/my hand now,
plow through the ushers, blocking her path
race to her spot, wings and robes and hair
all flowing in the breeze, at full sprint
an urgent angel back in place
not missing a beat
joining the heavenly chorus
singing on cue

December 25, 2007

A Balloon for Jesus

Three days after her birthday
Shanequa held two balloons
each one decorated in bright colors
festooned with “Happy Birthday”
one for the baby doll just liberated
from the wrapping, the packaging
the other for the baby Jesus
born to save us all
The babe whom we celebrate
who we waited for during the long days,
the darkening days of Advent
preparing for last night’s pageant
the service of joy at the baby’s birth
our king in the manger
But it was in the simple joy,
the loving remembrance,
the sharing of her balloons
with her new baby doll
and the baby Jesus
I will remember
as this day fades
Remembering our Savior
amid the toys and games
the noise of the modern Christmas
room in her heart too
for the holy Christ-child

December 25, 2007

Jesus Imagined

Jesus on the cross,
in the manger, on the mountain
healing, praying, walking on water
coming out of the Jordan at baptism
bleeding from the crown around his head
glowing on Transfiguration
seated at the right hand of the Father
all images of our Savior
our brother,
in whatever name we share
for the one singular unblemished man
to walk the earth

November 25, 2007 and December 25, 2007
Based on Colossians 1:11-20 and the sermon,
“Imaging Jesus”, by the Reverend Lori Eldredge,
Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord, NH
November 25, 2007

After the Chaos

After the chaos,
the blizzard of wrapping,
boxes, bows
toys and games and clothes
being torn from their slumber
the smiles and shrieks of joy
at the opening, the discovery
of each present emerging
Cleaning, clearing the debris
with each new one claimed
A stillness, as new friends are hugged,
games explored, crafts begun
a peace for mom and dad
to watch their play

December 25, 2007
Christmas morning

Monday, December 24, 2007

Born to Fulfill

Over and over again,
He is seen as fulfilling
the law and the prophets,
the Word made flesh in Him
born to fulfill the promise
the love of God, for the people
to reconcile us to Him
so is the son, right from the start,
even before his birth
born to fulfill
to save us all

December 24, 2007

A Memory Tree

Each item, each ornament,
each bauble, bangle, a memory
a special moment in our lives
remembered each year in the decorating
the dressing of the tree, under which the presents
will be placed, connections to special times,
milestones in our family
birthdays, firsts and more
family history too, of ornaments
given and gotten from
earlier saints we have known

December 24, 2007

Born to Die

If he was to fulfill, to bear out,
to live the prophesies of old,
of Jeremiah, of Isaiah,
of the other prophets
the ancient texts,
the hope of the people of the covenant
He was born to die
to walk from the manger
to the cross
in sacrifice for us all
so we remember Lent, the Passion,
as we remember and wait,
each Advent season
Knowing the death was to come
to the Light, brought near to earth
The pain wasn’t in the birthing;
but in the dying,
in fulfillment too
of the holy scripture

December 24, 2007
Matthew 1:28-36

Fulfilling the Prophesies

John and the Christ
cousins, special boys
marked before their births
to fulfill the prophesies
the prophesies of old,
long waiting of the peoples
generation on generation
the voice in the wilderness,
the one about whom he would speak
together, walking the land,
growing to manhood, to servanthood
to sacrifice, to fulfill the ancient texts
to live out the good news
of the Savior come into the world
at Christmas-tide

December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Instruments of God

In their obedience,
in their submitting their will
to the will of God
they became instruments of God
father and mother to the king
the Christ-child, Emmanuel,
God with us in the flesh
living, serving, dying, rising
because they were faithful,
heard the call of the angels
and did the Master’s will
right then and there
turning in an instant
giving themselves to God

December 23, 2007
Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 1:26-38

Because He Obeyed

Because he obeyed
a child was born, with a name
a name above all names,
Jesus, Christ, Emmanuel
Fulfilling the scriptures, the prophesies,
because he obeyed.

He was born with a father, a mother
humbly, in a manger, in Bethlehem
because he obeyed.

He grew and learned,
and followed the law,
growing in his faith,
because he obeyed

We were saved
by the son’s sacrifice
because he obeyed

December 23, 2007
Matthew 1:18-25

A Bit Player

He was but a bit player,
or so the story has been told
a simple, pious man,
Father of God, in the world,
in the flesh.
Devoted to his safety,
to his training, his teaching
Able, in faith, to heed the angel’s call
to shoulder the shame, the jeers
to absolve the stain
to be true to the will of God
To trust his fate
to God, to bear witness, at the birth
to the mission of Jesus,
who would save

Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph, the father of Jesus

Vessels of God

They were each
vessels of God
human means for the will of God
agents for all time of the work
the mission, the destiny
of the creator, the savior
They, the father and the mother,
too young, perhaps, but able
to step from their world
take on the mantle of God
heed His call,
and do His will
to be vessels of God,
agents of His love

December 23, 2007 3:54pm
Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 1:26-38

Finding Our Niche

What would be said, if we were to close;
who would know, who would care?
What is our niche, our cause, our calling?

So has been part of our discerning for a number of years,
so we have wandered in the desert, the mahogany church,
the wilderness of complacency.
But we are different now,
different somehow.

Using that time, that fallow time,
pruning, changing, fertilizing, studying,
growing within the chrysalis,
what a wonderful butterfly we may yet be
if we can break through the skin,
the walls of the church
step beyond the comfortable, the familiar.

We are poised, not dying, not yet; but pensive, furtive,
needing to find a new niche, a special place
become Christians, out beyond the walls,
lifting our feet, turning outward

Doing the work of the gospel,
the work of the church
out in the world
when the call comes
we have longed to hear

December 23, 2007 3:41pm

Opening Devotion - Wesley United Methodist Church, Church Conference, December 23, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we also have forgiven those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever.

Matthew 6:9-13

Thy Will

Thy Will be done
here, now, in this place
this creation, this earth
This place where you have birthed me
where we share this space together
members of your body here
So is the prayer, within the prayer
you taught us Lord
that the Father's will
will be done
here, on earth
So we pray each time we join
into one voice, echoing
up to the rafters
or down to the floor, heads bowed
in prayer
That we would do your will
and trust in you
for our Daily Bread

December 13, 2007
Matthew 6:9-13

Daily Bread – 1

Lord, we bow in prayer, the prayer you taught us
taught the disciples, so long ago
and we affirm the faith we share
with those peoples in the desert
who grumbled and feared,
regretting the comfort of their oppression
the security of their imprisonment
who feared the unknown
more than the Pharaoh's whip
How you gave them just enough
each day, for year on year, day on day
to sustain them in their journey
their journey to regain their faith
How much we too,
comfortable in our space
need to remember your provision,
your providence, oh Lord, Almighty God
Count on you to provide
so long as we do your will
in this place
as we discern your will
through bowing in prayer
to hear your voice, your call
for this generation

December 13, 2007
Matthew 6:9-13

These are the prepared words that I shared for the
Opening Devotional for the Church Conference,
Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord, NH
December 23, 2007

Up between the Dormers

High up the brick old mill building
up above the brick, the granite,
between the clapboard window dormers
hanging on the slate roof shingles, the metal flashing,
giant, dripping icicles, adorning the building
like so much candy coating
the white snow like taffy,
stretched between the dormers
oozing down into the spiky icicles
hanging down, many feet below
softening the edges of the old buildings
in the cold fog on the gray winter’s day
Dripping down on the blanket below,
mottled snow, graying too,
at the fall of the drops
before another snowfall
builds the bank on the roof again

December 23, 2007 3:17pm