September 23, 2020

“Incarnation” by Denise Day Spencer

He stands,
poised on the brink of two worlds:
One, land of eternal day,
the other, earth of mire and clay.

Behind Him,
legions of heavenly host,
bright faces covered, praising,
all chanting, voices raising.

Before Him,
chaos yawning, swift and deep,
known, yet unknown. Fear unfurling,
death and darkness churning, swirling.

He turns.
One last look at golden glory.
The Three part; He is now One.
The Father’s voice says, “Go well, my Son.”

He leaps
into the abyss.

His next memory will be a Mother’s kiss.

~ Denise Day Spencer, January 1999


  1. Denise,

    Very deep and beautiful poem as we transition from Advent into this Christmas season. A very human way of looking at the birth of the Messiah. May you, Michael and the rest of the Spencer family have a joyous Christmas.

  2. This is beautiful, Denise. Peace of the Lord, and Merry Christmas.

  3. Very beautiful. You’ve laid hold of a hint of the mystery that is Christ’s incarnation. Sometimes it’s poetry that speaks most clearly what cannot be understood any other way. Thank you.

  4. Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you, your family, and all readers.

  5. Mark Hewerdine says

    Very moving and awe inspiring. Thank you. I would like to read out it at our church’s do-it-yourself service on Sunday, if you don’t mind.

  6. Of course…DDS

  7. Sir,

    My thanks to you and Denise Day Spencer for posting this work of art. What a beautiful poem for celebrating the first advent.

    Merry Christmas,

  8. A very deep and beautiful meditation on the incarnation. Your words help lift me, lift us, out of the shallowness of holiday trappings and celebrations into meditation on the Gift of God through His Son.

    Thank you.

  9. gave me chills, the good kind. beautiful. thank you.

  10. “Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi.”

    Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

    Thank you Lord, have mercy on us.

  11. Wow. Beautiful.

    Thank you for this.

  12. Wow. That was a lot better than my amateurish effort.

    More DDS is ’09!!

    Grace and Peace,

  13. A beautiful poetic rendering of our Lord’s kenosis.

    “…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. ” (Phil 2:6-7)

    Blessed Nativity.

  14. Oh my God – I instantly cried and smiled. Beautiful – deep into the Heart of God.

  15. Lovely. To the other readers of this. Please check out Denise’s Holy week dramas as well, they are absolutely wonderful.

    Denise’s blog

  16. What Jesus was willing to go through–even more–what the God-Head was willing to go through could never be expressed any better. In the midst of the battle with Satan God threw everything He had in to arena–His Baby!

  17. To iMonk, thanks for posting that up. To Denise, that is a jaw-droppingly beautiful poem that brings tears to my eyes when reading it.

    Merry Christmas to both of you from the land Down Under.

  18. Thanks from the abyss. And thanks to God for you and Michael and your living faith.

  19. I read the poem at our three Christmas Eve services. I find the last line particularly captures the moment, which is a feature I believe great poets alone can do. Somehow, by slowing us down and re-creating the moment with words we enter into it. Thanks Denise, I wish you could have felt the impact of the Incarnation going deeper into people’s hearts as I read your poem.

  20. Slightly off topic, but isn’t that icon an allusion to the Shroud of Constantinople / Turin?

  21. Not that I am aware of. It’s a contemporary icon of the humility of Christ.