Christmas laid bare

PUBhope in the storm

Photo: Hope in the storm

This year, for reasons both within and beyond our control, we haven’t hung up a single Christmas decoration. It’s surprisingly liberating!

There’s an unexpected benefit from these circumstances. With the clutter, the glitz, the glamour, the tinsel gone, I can see who is in the room and who is not.

Or in the stable, to be more specific. The occupants: this precious, new family; the calming (if smelly) companionship of these animals. The visitors: a bunch of salt of the earth, behind the scenes folks, these shepherds – the street sweepers, factory workers, bus / jeepney drivers of our world – in a state of dazed shock after their very own angelic live hillside show.

And that’s it.

No, razzmatazz, VIP three kings-wisemen delegation. They come much later to another location.

The family, the shepherds, the animals.

This is where and with whom God chooses to make His entrance.

Let’s not miss it.

The blood, the sweat, the straw, the dung.

There’s something else here.

Hope.

Hope which has absolutely nothing to do with anticipation triggered by the glitter and shimmer of hanging ornaments, or piles of boxes.
No, this is hope of something beyond imagining, charged by the actuality of something that has already happened: the Divine Personified stepping into the room, our room, into our reality, our muck and mess.

Hope is here.

Merry Christmas!

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