Monday, December 17, 2007

Hopie's Christmas Poem


With his infant hands,
All stars are held in place.
The brightest one stands
To shine upon the face
Of Him who expands
And orders all matter in space.
So emptied---into finite man,
Here born, lays Eternal Grace.
Bound now within time’s span;
His flesh-clad feet will trace
An ancient redemptive plan
To re-create Adam’s race
With His Infinite Hands.

Hope Ellen Rapson


Alice C. Linsley said...

A lovely poem, dear sister! Thanks for allowing me to post it.

Hopie said...

Dear Alice,

Thank you for all your encouragement. I wrote this in the throes of theological and historical study of the nature of Jesus Christ. The fully man/fully divine union...hypostasis...of Jesus Christ is what we celebrate during advent and is, I believe, the heart of the Christian faith.
Although the poem is simple, short, and direct, the ramifications and complexities of the Incarnation are the true sense of that word.

Love, Your Sister Hope

Hopie said...

Question to Alice...

Many people have read this poem...but cannot get past the title. It has given me opportunity to explain the hypostatic union and its spiritual implications in the Christmas context, but in almost every case, the reader has later commented that I should change the title so that the average layman without theological training will not stumble over it and miss the
Christmas message. What do you think? What alternative title might be universally recognized by the poems readership?

Open to Suggestions, Hope

Alice C. Linsley said...

Titles are always problematic. I have a theological degree and caught the title's meaning immediately, but I can understand how it might be off-putting to some.

You might look for a phrase or word within the poem to use as the title. This often works well. "Skin-clan" is a possiblity, but it is so close to the pagan "sky-clad" (meaning naked) that I'd be careful. Hypostasis really has to do with the 2 natures of Jesus Christ: fully human and fully God, or God in the flesh (Incarnate God).

The poem has lovely brackets: first line "infant hands" and last line "infinite hands".

poetreader said...


This is a wonderful little poem. and, for my two-cents-worth the title is perfect for it. There is so much in it -- such mystical/theological depth that a simple title would not do it justice.

ed pacht