Miracles - Among Other Things

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9781553954385: Miracles - Among Other Things

Here are plays that can be presented by church groups as rehearsed redings - requiring a minimum of rehearsal time and scenery. The poetry and novel views make this book ideal for presents.

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About the Author:

Clifford Swartz is a physicist, retired from Brookhaven National Laboratory and from State University at Stony Brook. His is the author of more than thirty books, most of them physics texts. He continues to teach at the University. he and his wife have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. The plays have been staged in the Setauket Presbyterian Church.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from "But Mary had a Baby"

We are never quite ready for Christmas, Lord.
It is hard to accommodate a baby
In an empire newly formed,
With yester-era's chores unfinished.
Every child involves a gamble
With security of home and state and soul.
We cast the genes and take our chance.
And look what Mary got --
A troublemaker, God obsessed.
In all his tales, no hint of honest carpentry
Until the end, when in the spring
He graced a tree on Calvary.
The shortest days are now, the air is cold,
And we are unprepared.
But Mary has a baby.

From "All Hallow's Eve"

(HERB) What if there is no reason for the universe?
What if there is no purpose in our being there?
Without a proper role for humans
All human enterprise is in vain.
Each separate, lonely person's on his own
To bargain, scheme, deceive, and get ahead.
To get ahead of others in a mindless race -
To where? To what? Oblivion?
Personal oblivion, yes,
Individually, we are nothing.
But without a God, A God of some sort,
The senseless is more complete.
The race itself, the human race,
Is but an accident, a cosmic joke,
With no one there to laugh.
The hydrocarbons joined together
By some fluctuation of statistics
On this planet, on this single planet,
Around this single sun, among ten billion others
In our single galaxy. Alone, among
Ten billion other swirling galaxies,
All fleeing from each other.
No God? No one to say they word
And start it off, eighteen billion years ago,
No one to set the rules and choose the particles?
Then how and why did all this start?
Of all worlds possible, is this the best?
Or is it just the only one that can be,
Self-created, self-ordained, self-perceiving?
Are we the part, the only part, that understands
And ravels out and reconstructs the universe,
Recreating and reestablishing its rules within our minds?
Or is the god, the spirit, more potent still?
Does it continue brooding over us,
Allying its purpose and destiny with ours?
Are we the agents of knowing god,
His tools created for his own design,
Perhaps his revelation to himself as well as us?
Does that spirit really care for us
And know us individually?
Does it listen to our prayers
And judge our feeble efforts?
Is the God of Abraham
The god of quasars and black holes?
Is our loving Father, who's in heaven
, Also in charge of the charge of the galaxy in Andromeda?
Or is the universe without design?
Perhaps the accident humans
Who rear their temporary monuments,
Have no more purpose than the coral polyps
Whose skeletons become the barrier reefs.
No more purpose than the ants
Who build their tunneled hills.
There's the abyss. Without a God,
Without divine intelligence,
Without a purpose,
We are nothing. We are shadows.
We are isolated globs
Of pain and fear and emptyness.

(DORIS) But also love. We have each other.

(HERB) Yes, if we lucky, we have each other. But for moment, only for a moment.

From Magus, 2000

It was an ordinary birth,
Which we celebrate in honor
Of all new births, to begin again.
Once I saw a star explode.
It was an old star, dying, and in its death
Gave life to planets yet unborn.
In our line of work, we live in mystery,
Hoping for revelation.
So I will go again to Bethlehem,
And kneel and celebrate
With shepherds and with kings.

From Christmas Poems

Now the season goes before
Of myths and marvelous metaphor,
Of glittering lights in winter gloom,
Of evergreens in living room,
Of wreath and tree topped with a star,
Of kingly gifts brought from afar.

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