Please find here the artistic submissions made to the December 2008-January 2009 issues of UCNews. Each of these works represents the theme of "Welcoming the Exile" as it pertains to Matthew's Christmas story. A special thanks to our artists. May you be blessed by their creativity.
'The Welcome Carol' : a song by the Rev. Ellen Chahey
'Mother and Child' : oil on canvas by Anne Ierardi
'When' : a poem by Margaret Kratch
'Exiles' : a poem by the Rev. Carol A. Prochaska
'The Gospel of Harim' : a short story by Pamela Schoenewaldt
Note that use of these materials is restricted to personal use. Please contact the author if you would like to use their materials in corporate worship or for publication.
The Welcome Carol
Based upon the Gospel of Matthew. Tune: Greensleeves
1. Christ left his home at the side of God
For an earthly life, for a wanderer’s life.
He loved the world and he emptied self
And he welcomed the life of an exile.
2. When Mary learned she would have a son
It was strange to hear – should she go away?
But God sent Joseph a peaceful dream
And so Joseph did welcome the exile.
3. The Magi traveled from far away
By a shining star, by a prophet’s say
Unwelcome, used, by a jealous king,
They brought gifts as they welcomed the exile.
4. When Joseph dreamed of the need to flee
They left all behind in the dead of night.
The little children who did not flee
Gave their lives while the family was exiled.
5. Christ left his home at his mother’s side
And he wandered far on his Gospel ride.
A Roman cross is where he then died
And that cross was the end of his exile.
6. Christ rose again, and he left the tomb
Yet he promised always to stay with us.
He welcomes each one who comes to him;
We meet Christ when we welcome the exile.
CHORUS: So welcome each other now
For we all must wander beneath the sky.
Come, welcome as Christ shows how
For the exiles are children of God.
Dedicated to my grandparents of blessed memory, who left their homes in Hungary for new opportunities in the United States. They helped to found the Hungarian Reformed Church of South Norwalk, Conn., one of the first congregations of the UCC. Our church and our family welcomed many exiles after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
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Mother and Child
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When the song of the angels is still,
And the shepherds have gone from the hill,
The Babe in the manger
Will not be a stranger
To voices that tell of God's will.
When the star in the East sky is gone,
And the kings and the herdsmen withdrawn,
The wee Prince of Peace
Asleep mid the beasts
Will waken to greed a new dawn.
When the Spirit of Christmas is past
And our everyday role has been cast--
The Boy that was born
To waken that morn
Inspires us to rise to the task.
When the people who cry in the night
(And they tremble and hide in their fright)
Can feel that the Lad
Who made our hearts glad
Has moved us to help mend their plight.
When they hunger and have not a home;
And need clothing and drink--there are some
Who look to the Man
Who has in His plan:
A promise of His kingdome--Come!
When we do to to the least of them now,
And can ease their misfortune some how,
Our Savior is served,
We heed His word;
The message is clear we avow.
Whe He'd gone to His heavenly home,
And had died for our sins to atone--
This Lamb was our loss
As He hung on our cross
To save all mankind for His own.
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Joseph's sought-after sleep
life so very far from the ordinary
an untried walk with Mary.
magi from their homeland
pathways through foreign darkness to the Child
to present gifts to God's Gift.
Get up! Flee to Egypt!
survival amid King Herod's darkness
safety for Emmanuel.
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