Carried for nine months and birthed far from
Heaven’s hallelujahs into Israel’s
Rough fringes—a Bethlehem town,
Incarnation, God come to be one of us—a
Singular identification with
The lost and the loved: It was a lowly
Ministry to a dying
Adamic race, desperate to
Save, destined to
Give hope where there was none, exchanging the glories with the Father for the
Isolation and humiliation of life with the
Fallen, and we reach out from our disgrace
To receive Heaven’s gift.
. . . here is my Christmas cactus to keep you company. I am buried under a stack of research papers!
C arried for nine months and birthed far from
H eaven’s hallelujahs into Israel’s
R ough fringes—a Bethlehem town,
I ncarnation, God come to be one of us—a
S ingular identification with
T he lost and the loved: It was a lowly
M inistry to a dying
A damic race, desperate to
S ave, destined to
G ive hope where there was none, exchanging glory for the
I solation and humiliation of life with the
F allen, and we reach out from our disgrace
T o receive Heaven’s gift.
If Christmas were all about glitter and lights
and gifts under a Charlie Brown pine,
perched awkwardly, displacing a more permanent resident chair;
if it were just about cards and carols sung off-key at children’s plays,
with lop-sided crowns and angels sporting withering wings—as cute as that is;
if it were just about expectation of giving and receiving more stuff,
then I would be the Grinch’s biggest fan.
Disappointment would not be worth the price of turkey and pumpkin pie.
But as much as it can be about family and fellowship, the good and ugly
in all of that;
and as much as it is about traditions and nostalgia, the good, quaint, and sometimes trite
in all of that;
even more, it is about the crèche, lost in the parade of tinsel, tumult, and talk.
It’s the spectacle of God humiliating Himself to accommodate a fallen race,
becoming of us,
to buy us back,
willing to live and suffer for that joy beyond it all.
And if we have truly missed the wonder because of the raving repetition of traditions,
the busy busy of buying,
then we have missed it all.
This year, I think I should have one decoration, at least in my heart:
a baby in a manger come to redeem His beloved and to fill the hole in our hearts with