Friday, 19 December 2014


How to make sense of thousands of people who don’t care about the Christmas story fussing over gifts, decorations and multiple parties because…why? 

Who legislated this annual festival of connecting with relatives and acquaintances that we ignore the rest of the year? 
If it’s not about God’s gift to humanity in Christ, why is this the one time people think about being generous?

What’s with the fairy tale of Santa Claus – how did it become the focus of school concerts and our most massive cultural celebration?
Don’t you think it’s weird? Hollow? Kind of pathetic?
I don’t agree with doing things automatically, just because we’ve always done them. I thought we ditched that idea in the 1960’s.

 On the other hand, is it possible to seriously believe that, one night, angels scared sheepherders by announcing a virginal birth happening just down the road? to believe that Jesus was unique in all of human history and somehow made it possible for us and our planet to be healed into peaceful love?  that beyond the killing bombs, the vicious rapes, the mean gossip at Christmas parties, that underneath and behind and above, the healing is in process? that the promise of Revelation 21:4 will ever come true?

As I stagger between bizarre nativity pageants and reports of weeping Pakistani parents, my sore heart is touched by Advent art: exquisite music, thoughtful writings, drama and paintings. These welcome gifts take me to places of hope beyond the ugliness, of grateful joy in spite of disappointments. They renew my faith in what I cannot see, the Love that finally wins.

( There’s nothing that attracts me about kings or pretty ladies with wings, but still this lullaby prayer…)