The Table: a Christmas poem

This is a poem I wrote in 2014 which has been used by a number of people in Christmas services. It puts a slightly different spin on things…

Feel free to use this in your own services, with author credit to Nick Morgan

The Table

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through a stable
A man was attempting
To construct a table.
In spite of his skill
At the carpentry trade
His tools on a workbench
In Nazareth were laid.

The manger in which
All the fodder was scattered
Seemed solid enough
And that was what mattered.
For that was the main thing:
A solid, safe cradle
Was needed in case
Of a birth in that stable.

But Joseph got busy
And lashed up some poles
And some planks with some rope
That he’d found by the foals
And managed to make
A table, quite steady
And sturdy enough
In case baby was ready.

The night passed and
Jesus was born in that place.
The table lay, unused,
But stood, just in case.
Visitors came
And were slightly perplexed:
When attempting to use it,
Young Joseph got vexed.

The point of the table
Was not clear to them;
Was not clear to Joseph
Nor all Bethlehem.
But Joseph was certain,
Could feel in his gut,
That a table was key
To events in this hut.

The women said, “Typical!
Building and fussing, and
Making that thing
While Mary was pushing!”
Joseph, however, stayed
Faithful and still,
Content in his knowledge
That this was God’s will.

Joseph had heard
The right message, it’s true
And acted upon it
But hadn’t a clue
That his timing was out:
No table required
For the birth of God’s son
Whom the shepherds admired.

But the Body and Blood
Came to earth on that day
In that stable
In the form of a babe in the hay.
And the table came later.
It bore bread and wine.
When Christ died for all
It remained as a sign.

Nick Morgan, 2014

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence

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