The Empty Box

 

What?! Christmas morning?! Ryan raced to the tree. Mom and dad had left the tree lights on.

“Mom and dad!”  Ryan yelled from the living room. He wasn’t going to start without them.

Mom and dad appeared in the hallway. “We’re up. Go ahead, Ryan.”

Well, it didn’t take long for Ryan to rip through the wrapping paper on each package. He got almost everything he had asked for.

After all his presents were opened and he lined them up near the couch, Ryan saw something had hadn’t noticed before. “Hey, what’s this? It’s got my name on it.”

Mom went over and looked at the package. She shook it and looked at Roy.

“Did you put this under the tree Roy?”

“Um, No. I don’t remember a package that size.”

“Well, go ahead and open it Ryan,” Mom handed Ryan the present.

Ryan tore into the wrapping paper. A plain box appeared. It was stamped “Not as Fragile as You Might Think”.

Now mom was curious. Dad came over.

Ryan lifted one of the box lids and then the other. He looked inside. His mouth formed a “Wow!”

“It’s empty, mom, dad!”

Mom looked inside too. “Where did that come from? Did your grandparents put that under the tree last night when they were here? Roy, did your dad put that there?”

Roy called grandpa who was always awake at 6:00 reading the paper.

“Dad, did you and mom put a package under the tree? Ryan opened it and its…empty.”

“Roy, you know I don’t put empty packages under the Christmas tree. Are you sure its empty? Look again.”

Roy looked this time.

“Dad, I don’t see anything.”

“Have Ryan look, too.”

“Ryan, look inside again.”

Ryan picked up the box. This time it was bigger. When he pulled the lids back he thought he heard a loud pop. “Whoa, what was that?

“I didn’t hear anything Ryan, “Mom said.

“Roy, do you think that your parents forgot to put a present in?” Ryan’s mother asked.

“Anything is possible with my dad. C’mon. Let’s eat breakfast”

Ryan then remembered Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry sauce. It was a Christmas morning treat in the Miller house.

 

 

That night, mom had Ryan pick up his toys and bring them to his room. Ryan filled the empty box and carried it to his bedside. He sat down on his bed. And that’s when Ryan’s eyes closed. And, that’s when the dreams began.

 

 

Dreams. How do you describe them? They are whacky and yet they seem to make sense. Here’s what Ryan told his mom about one dream:

“I was floating. It was all dark. Then there was a Pop!” Ryan used his finger and popped it out of his mouth. “There was a big cloud of dust all over me. I coughed and coughed.

“Then the cloud went thuup! and it was gone! And then things started flying all around me. They looked like tiny balls bouncing everywhere. Some of balls stuck together like they didn’t want to be alone in the dark. They were hissing and crunching and…I became scared when I saw a shadow that was darker than night. But the shadow was tossed away by a hand. Then I felt better.

“Did you know mom that numbers are alive? They all dance together!

Then, mom, the together-balls became dust balls. And they became huge, like bowling balls, like bowling balls of fire. Then they exploded and there were more dust balls. And the dust balls became marbles.

And the marbles became globes with smaller globes going around them. Then there was light coming right at me. It was so bright that I had to turn around. When I did, I saw a planet right behind me. The planet had a mouth.

The planet said, “Come and see.” So, I flew toward the planet. As I did, the planet handed me geodes and fossils and rocks, all kinds of rocks. Some were like the red quartz and Jasper that you and dad gave me for my birthday. Then I saw aquariums full of fish. I saw sharks, whales and guppies and Neons and Tetras and…

I looked down into one aquarium. On the bottom of aquarium, I saw belchers. They looked like what we saw at Yellowstone last summer. They sounded like your Christmas coffee maker. “Ururururhhhh Blup!” Urururururhhhh Blup!”

I saw…I think dad calls it… a ter..rari…um… full of bugs and worms and salamanders and lizards and then a brontosaurus showed up and then a Triceratops and then,…

Then I saw a plate. On the plate was Jell-O. But then the Jell-O was two Jell-Os and then four Jell-Os. There were globs of Jell-O everywhere. Do you know what happened next, mom? The globs of Jell-O became Gummy worms.

There was a lot more that happened mom, but, I can’t remember it… Oh,… yeah,… someone poked me and said, “Ryan, Little King, Come and see.”

Then, I was inside a temple, like the one in the picture you showed me one time, mom. Inside the temple were billions and billions of tiny temples. Inside each tiny temple there was a blue light stick. Crazy, huh, mom?

 

When Ryan’s sixth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a rock tumbler. Ryan had begun a rock collection during the family trip out west.

When Ryan’s seventh Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a microscope. Ryan’s dad was a biology teacher. He brought home slide samples of all kinds of microscopic life.

When Ryan’s eighth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a telescope. Not only did he get the telescope but his parents took him to an observatory during Christmas break.

When Ryan’s ninth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for an atlas, a map of the world and astronomy charts. Ryan’s mom and dad also gave him a barometer, a thermometer, a hygrometer and an anemometer. They did this so that Ryan could build a weather station in their backyard.

When Ryan’s tenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a pair of binoculars and a book about birds. At that time his mother also began to teach Ryan about flora. She showed him how to press flowers into pages of a book.

When Ryan’s eleventh Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a mobile of the planets. He also asked for a compass and for a pencil and some drawing paper. He wanted to draw everything he saw in his head.

When Ryan’s twelfth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a book about the human body and a skeleton. He also asked for a ham radio kit.

When Ryan’s thirteenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a periodic chart of the elements. He also asked for element 82 and for horseshoe magnets.

A Few of My Favorite Things 2

dad’s coffee

When Ryan’s fourteenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a spectroscope. He received a prism, a magnifying glass, a physics book and a box of watercolors. 

When Ryan’s fifteenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a Calculus book. Dad looked at him and said, “Are you sure?” Ryan replied, “I can’t function without it.” Ryan got his book.

When Ryan’s sixteenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a book about genetics and a DNA helix and a set of keys to the family car. His mom and dad gave him the book. They also gave him pipe cleaners and colored beads and instructions how to build a DNA helix model. The car keys were handed to him after his homework and chores were done.

When Ryan’s seventeenth Christmas came around he asked his mom and dad for a chemistry set. Dad said, “I’ll give you the set but do the experiments in the garage”. Ryan moved his science lab to the garage. He also began to pack for college. He filled the “empty” box with as much as it could hold.

 When Ryan’s eighteenth Christmas came around he said to his mom and dad, “Thank you for everything. You know what? The world is not badly made. I’ll see you during Spring Break.”

 

When Ryan’s eighty-fifth Christmas came around he gave his grandson the empty box as a present and said, “Here, Mikey, you won’t be bored.”

 

 

 

 

© Jennifer A. Johnson, 2017, All Rights Reserved

 

The Gift of Giving

 

Wow!  When you see, and hear someone doing the work of the kingdom of God, you take note…

A conversation with John Montgomery, Founder and CIO Bridgeway Capital Management:

 

Reference:

Bridgeway Capital Management (BCM): OUR COMMITMENT

“BCM’s articles of incorporation state that it will donate 50% of its profits to charitable causes. Over the years, BCM has granted tens of millions of dollars and time to more than 500 different nonprofits. Bridgeway includes all of its Partners (as permanent staff members are known) in the giving program.”

 

Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

Star Course: The King Awakens

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” [The magi]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.”

“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 2

~~~

Star course:  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…Bright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gif

“Our starting point has to be ‘what is a star?’  The visible Universe is, to a very good approximation, made up of hydrogen and helium, the two simplest elements formed in the first few minutes after the Big Bang. After around a billion years of expansion, the Universe was cool enough for slightly denser regions in the gas clouds to start clumping together under their own gravity.  These were the seeds of the galaxies, and within them, around smaller clumps, the first stars began to form.” Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw, The Quantum Universe

Bright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gifLife Star or stellar nucleogenesis:

“Every atom of carbon in every living being was once inside a star, since the interior nuclear furnaces of the stars are the only places in the universe where this element can be made.” John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (emphasis added)

~~~

stars

The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay…

The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes

But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes (Well, after all, this little baby spoke the Big Bang! What could scare Him?!)

The Stars AlignBright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gif

The Star of Bethlehem or perhaps Venus or a confluence of the star Regulus with Jupiter and Venus was creations’ royal birth notice.  Astrologers of the East took notice of the star’s position.  They left on their long journey tracking the star’s brilliance to the very space and time of the king’s invasion – Mary and Bethlehem and the Roman empire (and w/o NORAD, too!)

“We, with our modern democratic and arithmetical presuppositions would so have liked and expected all men to start equal in their search for God. One has the picture of a great centripetal roads coming from all directions with well-disposed people, all meaning the same thing, and getting closer and closer together. How shockingly opposite to that is the Christian story!

 One people picked out of the whole earth; that people purged and proved again and again. Some are lost in the desert before they reach Palestine; some stay in Babylon; some becoming indifferent. The whole thing narrows and narrows, until at last it comes down to a little point, small as the point of a spear – a Jewish girl at her prayers.

 That is what the whole of human nature has harrowed down to before the Incarnation takes place. Very unlike what we expected, but, of course, not in the least unlike what seems, in general, as shown by nature, to be God’s way of working.” C.S. Lewis,” The Grand Miracle”, God in the Dock

Bright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gifStar of David nucleogenesis

“The poor baby wakes” …in a star-based body.  God had laid down his garment of resplendent shekinah glory and put on oxygen and carbon and…a baby’s swaddling clothes and…the sin of the whole world.  He did this out of love.  This king would redeem the world He loved.

Earth’s most common element, iron, created by extremely large stars with extremely hot cores would be formed by Romans into nails.    These nails would be used to crucify the invading King.

Elements_of_the_Human_Body-01

“The idea of a divine sharing in human life and triumph over death is certainly a powerful myth.  However, as a Christian I believe it is more than that, for it is enacted myth.” John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in Quest of Truth (emphasis added)

Death star or dust to dust, carbon to carbon:

“The doctrine of the Incarnation offers theology a profound insight as it wrestles with the problem of evil and suffering.  The Christian God does not just look down with compassion on the travail of creation, viewed from the invulnerability of heaven, but in the cross of Christ we see that God is truly ‘a fellow sufferer who understands’ (in [A.N.] Whitehead’s phrase), knowing that suffering from the inside, so to speak.  This moving insight seems to me to meet the problem of suffering at the deepest level of diving response and theological insight.”… John Polkinghorne, Science and Religion in Quest of Truth

Incarnation miracle – It was in the starsBright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gif

“The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. Just as every natural event is the manifestation at a particular place and moment of Nature’s total character, so every particular Christian miracle manifests at a particular place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation.

 There is no question in Christianity of arbitrary interferences just scattered about. It relates not a series of disconnected raids on Nature but the various steps of a strategically coherent invasion—an invasion which intends complete conquest and “occupation.” C.S. Lewis, Miracles

Bright-animated-star-shining-at-night-gif“Pilgrim, we’re home.”

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” The apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians 4: 4-7

The Dark Side

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”  The Gospel according to John 3:19

What Childlessness Is this?

Anomaly? Perhaps. Trend? Perhaps.

If you have read previous posts you would know that I travel to work-a Chicago Loop location-on the METRA train. After so many stops several of us gather in the vestibule, antsy to get off the train. It is in the vestibule, on a daily basis, that we share the events of our daily lives, the latest front page news, TV programs watched, political viewpoints and so on.

It came as a surprise to me the other day when I learned that three of us four ‘regulars’-a married man in his early sixties, a married man in his late forties to early fifties and a woman also in her late forties to early fifties were each without children. I am the only one of the four who has children.

 Another surprise: the three of them along with their spouses-each couple-owned two dogs. They call their pets their four legged children! I had to wonder “Why pets?” and no children, but I don’t ask such questions. Maybe it is a matter of fertility. Or, a matter of fear?

 The only clue I gathered was when another woman, a mother, joined us one day. She talked about her kids and her dog. She asked the man of sixty years if he had kids. He replied that he didn’t. “I was afraid for my wife.”

 What he meant, I could not tell you. I was left to conjecture: was he afraid for her physical health? Her mental health?

 Now, all three train companions have highly positioned jobs. One man is a CPA for a major bank. The other man is a health care manager for employees of a major area hospital. The woman is a VP of an insurance company. She travels over 60% of the time.

 So, again, conjecture. Did they choose to be childless to fulfill career paths? Or?

I can not judge their decision but I am curious as to their decision’s formulation and their lack of formula (I had to spit that up, didn’t I?). 

Like me you may have seen bumper stickers of the sort “I love my (fill in the blank pet version), it is humans I can’t stand.”

 When I see this uncivil declaration renouncing mankind I feel a little rebuffed BUT not to the extent that I would riot or loot or cancel any exam to wallow in shameless emo. I wouldn’t even call Al Sharpton or Eric Holder in to intercede for the black folks included in this public denunciation.

It now seems that anti-human humanism is society’s soup of the day philosophy. What’s important is that animals be anthropomorphized into four legged children.

If you were to listen to my three train companions you would hear that they treat these dogs as children and better. They take their beloved pooches to doggie spas and to doggie festivals where special organic dog food is sampled. I am not mentioning half the luxuries bestowed to the beasts. (“Higher taxes for the 1% will help the poor. So I needn’t go out of my way. Besides, I give when the sad dogs on TV look me in the eye.”)

 Don’t growl at me. I am not an animal hater. I have a Parrolet named Henry. 

Henry the Parrolet

Henry the Parrolet

I have had dogs, cats, chameleons… AND, I have four kids who are human (though there were times when I thought they regressed to being four-legged animals).

 The pet over children choice fits in nicely with environmentalists. They seek to stomp out the fires of human passion:“Only you can prevent human existence.”

 The ‘’greenies’ spread their irrational fears liberally (e.g., the greenie-propaganda movie “Noah”.). They invoke population control-Malthusian-metric-hockey-stick spreadsheets. They generate CO2 free angst and so bloody on.

And, why, why have kids when life is so hard and so terrible and so there is so much bad in the world and so much work to do to stop climate change (“So many CO2 offenders, so little time”) that will kill us all if we don’t give ALL of our time and ALL of our money to stop it right now and lions and tigers and bears… Let’s let fear itself give us something to fear-a dictum not worthy of you or any generation.

 Besides all of the above manmade direness there is the inconvenience of children. You have to feed them, change them, follow them, correct them when they mis-behave (Oh, yes.), take them to Wal-Mart for a Christmas picture, introduce them to the morals you flirt with now and then. And, there is just too much of yourself you would have to give up to have a child.

 “I have my studies, my books, my Facebook, my career path to the seventh floor. I have my dreams. I have my “Me, My, I” to look after. First person singular comes first.

 This is where pets (and their owner’s bumper stickers) come into view. This is where I am told “Dogs”, on the other paw, “give me their unconditional love”. Yeah, that’s right. You have heard the same thing. Dogs love. Roll the Disney movie. Throw them an organic vegan Milkbone. Walk them with a proud humane cadence. Care for them when ill or itchy. Cuddle with them on your bed…but they are not kids.

  Kids? YES have kids! I’ll tell you why but not in smothering detail. You will figure it out.

 Here is hint #1: the reason to have kids is connected to the reason for the season-the Christmas season-in case the shelf-elf didn’t remind you what time of the year it is. And hint #2, the reason will involve a new vocabulary word: “kenosis”.

Per Wikipedia, “The New Testament does not use the actual noun kénōsis but the verb form kenóō occurs five times (Ro.4:14, 1Co.1:17, 9:15, 2Co.9:3, Phil.2:7). Of these five times it is Phil 2:7, in which Jesus is said to have “emptied himself,” which is the starting point of Christian ideas of kenosis.”

The word ἐκένωσεν (ekénōsen) is used in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, chapter 2 verses 6 through 8.  It is part of an early church hymn that is quoted by Paul:

 

Who, though in God’s form, did not

Regard his equality with God

As something he ought to exploit.

 

Instead, he emptied himself,

And received the form of a slave,

Being born in the likeness of humans.

And then, having human appearance,

 

He humbled himself, and became

Obedient even to death,

Yes, even the death of the cross.

 

To insure historical usage I unearthed my Greek New Testament and also “THE ANALYTICAL GREEK LEXICON: Consisting of AN ALPHABETICAL ARRANGEMENT OF EVERY OCCURING INFLEXION OF EVERY WORD CONTAINED IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE with a GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS OF EACH WORD.… I looked up the word transliterated as kenos. As used in Phil. 2:7–”to divest one’s self of ones prerogatives, abase one’s self”

 

Wow!

Jesus, Very God, divested himself of his prerogative as God and abased himself to become incarnate.

 We have heard it said that “God is love”. We have also heard that “God is eternal”. For love to be love there needs to be an object of love. For eternal God to be Love there must be an eternal object of his love. This means that within the dancing embrace of the Triune God are the eternal objects of each other’s love -the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (JWs, the Trinity is.)

 Now, imagine that the Godhead decided to include us humans in their dancing embrace of love. To do so, Jesus, as promised in prophecies of redemption, emptied himself of all his prerogatives as God (an overwhelming surprise for any orthodox Jew) and put on the vestment (the diapers) of created humanity.

 The simplest comparison that comes to my mind would be the following: There is a father who is the CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation which employs 3000+ workers. The company owns several private jets.

 The father comes home, takes off his suit coat and throws it on a chair. He takes off his tie and does the same with it.  He then gets down on the floor on all fours to play Legos with his four year-old son-all prerogatives put aside because of love for his son. His ‘position’ is laid aside to be taken up later.

 There is something about kids and about divesting one’s self of one’s prerogatives that enables one to be in a relationship and to love another. No one is saying this is easy but it is worth more than what you laid aside.

 Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Christ is also a celebration of our humanity, of kids and babies. Imagine God Very God incarnated into our evolved human form and doing so right at the fullness, the bar mitzvah of time! And, come to think of it there is no celebration of Roe v. Wade Day unless, of course, you are Wiccan.

 The cross is the nexus of man’s inhumanity to man and man’s sinfulness with a Holy God. Man’s redemption from sin was the outcome. God kept his word to redeem and He imputes his promise keeping righteousness to those, by faith, who believe.

 The resurrection of the Son of Man is a celebration of Mankind’s new humanity within the Kingdom of God.

 ~~~ 

Yesterday as I was jumping off the train onto my home station platform the METRA conductor, a large friendly black man who looks like he could play defense for the Chicago Bears said “Have a great evening everyone. Fifteen days till Christmas! ”We all smiled looking back at his glowing face.

 Christmas is the dancing embrace of God with man and man with man and man with himself.

 “What Child is This? The slack-jawed shepherds will tell you that a birth announcement proclaiming humanity’s promised Messiah had arrived via Angelic Express. They will tell you that they found the baby who would one day become King lying in a manger. How un-Godlike? Not for the God who laid aside everything to get on all fours and meet you where you are.

Let the miracle of the incarnation inform your decision to have children, whether naturally, adopted and/or fostered in your home. And then let those children become the objects of your love.

Added:

In case you are a worrier watch this video:   I can’t believe we made it.

 

My Two Youngest at Pritzker Pavilion

My Two Youngest at Pritzker Pavilion

 

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

angel-christmas-tree

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

 

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

By the hewn tree propped in the living room?

The strewn wrapping paper?

The toys underfoot?

 

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

By the twinkling angel teetering on the highest limb?

The crèche reassembled?

The ceramic baby in the manger?

 

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

By the credit card bills?

The crush of family?

Tomorrow’s returns?

 

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

 

When you unplug the Christmas tree

There is a Light which never goes out.

© Sally Paradise, 2013, All Rights Reserved

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” from the Gospel according to John

Image:

http://www.christmas-tree-decorating.com/pictures/angel-christmas-tree.shtml

Incarnation (LHC)

Incarnation (LHC)

 

God with us

Hope acquired mass

Shepherds, angels witnesses

Eternal Light through prism of flesh

Evolution His manger

God man reconciled

Christ in us.

 

 

© Sally Paradise, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Loreena McKennit – GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

Merry Christmas! In Christ all things are made new! I wish you a Happy NEW Year!

The First “Oh Well”

 

Christmas gives me the blues and I don’t mean the Johnny Mathis singing “Blue Christmas” blues.  I mean the whole consumer blitzkrieg-droned carol-endless line-crass sentimentality blues called The Holidays. Blah! Bummerbug! If Santa Claus never makes it to town that’s OK with me.

 Black Friday came and went unnoticed. As will Cyber Monday.  I have what I need and so does every else. That’s my guess but you wouldn’t know it by the mindless occupiers waiting to purchase the newest doll or device that would tell them they are special. And speaking of mindless occupation…

When you have someone like Obama Claus who pushes a food stamp agenda instead of a jobs agenda and trades free cell phones for votes and redistributes taxpayer monies to his crony friends in the green energy business and supplies weapons of mass destruction to Mexican drug lords and completely ignores murderous threats to our own Libyan Embassy and you have something so tangible as the unread but tax-mandated Obamacare what else do you really need?  Perhaps a Big Gulp to choke down your last union-made and destroyed Twinkie?  51 % of voters voted for this Godless Xmess. 

I recently saw a tee-shirt which had the imprint, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”  “Merry Christmas kids!” as my very angry mother would yell at us when we had behaved so badly that Christmas was on the verge of being banished from our household forever.

People in Chicago also voted to put Jesse Jackson Jr, back into office! This boggles the mind! Happy Holidays! 51% of you got what you wanted.

http://bcove.me/z39ibynd

Oh, well. I’ll be home for Christmas while I still have private property.

Jingle Bells Refinanced

 

 

Juggle Bills

Dashing through the dough

In a one-shot spending spree

 O’er the aisles we go

 Buying all we see

 Bills our mailman brings

 Making faces white

My Christmas bonus couldn’t ding

Our family’s debt tonight!

 

 (chorus)

 

Oh, Juggle bills, juggle bills,

Juggle every day.

Oh! What pain it is to know

We’ll someday have to pay.

 Juggle bills, juggle bills,

Juggle every day.

Oh! What pain it is to know

 We’ll someday have to pay.

 

 

A month or two ago

I thought I’d skip a bill

But soon collections called

My spirits they did grill

The debt was overdue

Misfortune seemed my lot

They said they had to sue

But nothing’s all they got.

 

 (chorus)

 

Oh, Juggle bills, juggle bills,

Juggle every day.

Oh! What pain it is to know

We’ll someday have to pay.

 Juggle bills, juggle bills,

Juggle every day.

Oh! What pain it is to know

We’ll someday have to pay.

 

 

Jingle Bells adapted by Sally Paradise

When I Think of Christmas

 

 

When I think of Christmas I think of the King of Love laid in a manger –

Sovereignty supine under sterling stars twinkling through millennia of delight,

Sublimity submitted to the gaze of cherubim and seraphim and slack-jawed shepherds.

 

When I think of Christmas I think of a Son,

A Son, whose tiny hands, emptied of Omnipotence, outstretched from the eternal Embrace,

Nailed to a tree –

A tree of death – bearing my Exclusion!

 

When I think of Christmas I think of swaddling clothes

Later to be exchanged for a seamless robe and then for a torn veil,

And then, for a burial shroud turned inside out.

 

When I think of Christmas I think of no room in the inn

And later finding an upper room so as to lay my head on Him Who breaks His Body,

Who pours out His blood,

Who lays down His life for His friends.

 

When I think of Christmas I think,

Friends walking in Embrace:

“Do not our hearts burn within us, from that first day until now,

Whenever Christmas comes to our house?”

 

 

© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved