our congregation is co-hosting a dramatic reading of W.H. Auden's long poem "For the Time Being". The poem sets the Christmas story as a timeless event that also takes place in our time. In it Auden blends lyric poetry with comic verse and prose. Mary and the angel Gabriel seem timeless while Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men are our contemporaries, stumbling their way into a setting that almost - but never altogether - overwhelms them. Between now and Epiphany I will share some lines from the poem here, beginning with these words that conclude the experience of the shepherds and wise men at the manger:
"O Living Love, replacing Fantasy
O Joy of Life revealed in love's creation
Our mood of longing turns to indication.
Space is the Whom our loves are needed by,
Time is our choice of How to love and Why."