Blood-red sun filtered through smoky skies…
The horizon glows and embers flash – ‘Christmas Lights 2019’.
Apocalyptic days, overwhelmed by smoke laying thick..
Ash floats down, eyes and lungs struggle – Christmas 2019.
Firies, SES and other voluntary groups abound, working long,
fighting the blaze that never dies.
Scorched earth and ashes, lives broken and lost…
communities ravaged, blackened, ash-drenched, grieving…
Christmas is coming – LED’s light the night-sky
tinsel covers the world and parties abound…
Full of food and too much drink, forward- rushing into hope we go.
We sing with gusto and chat nonchalantly through the carols and the hapless speaker turning a spin on a story old and simple.
Letter box filled with papers and potential gifts for those who have everything, and it gets harder each year.
Harder to choose and understand how Christmas fails to meet the expectations of a world hell-bent on…
On pain and destruction, feeling the heat of change
the heat that rises from an earth under stress and human weight.
We hear the stories of violence of humans towards each other…
violence, physical, emotional and in words…
Violence that hurts and breaks and kills
Violence is the answer and end to everything…
… it seems…
In the quiet places of struggle and simplicity bubbles another force…
A force more powerful but one more gentle.
A force that nurtures, comforts and includes.
It is a force that arises from the heart of the Divine Community…
This Community of gracious love at the centre of all things,
that we call ‘God’.
As we wrestle, grieve, live with confusion or anger or yearning;
as the world bakes and boils; a battlefield for human egos
that struggle for dominance and power
Searching for answers that do not come
because we won’t let go, won’t collaborate and love…
As we decorate the world and fill it with sugar-coated or saccharine stories, cute and cuddly and like fairy floss in the mouth,
We miss the point and the profound reality at the heart of CHRISTMAS!
The Christ-child revealed in a baby small amongst poor and impoverished,
entering the mess and chaos of human existence to say:
God is with us! God Loves us!
In the mess of our lives, when all falls apart
in the chaos of a world struggling in despair
in the midst of life, God comes!
God breaks in and promises an alternate way of being and living.
God breaks in and holds us in grace, a party of being and belonging.
God breaks in and dwells amongst us, valuing who we are
and believing in who we can be!
We don’t need to accumulate more things – money, education, achievement, knowledge, houses, power, status…
We don’t need to pretend nor prove but only ‘be’.
To be who we are and can be. To become the one unique being that is you and me and us – together in a Realm that is love and justice,
peaceful and joyful.
Christmas is the story of Love embodied in a Christ-child born in vulnerable anonymity to rise up and flood us with effusive, generous
love and grace.
This is who we can be and for what we yearn – receive it, own it, be it!
May God’s grace be with you through Christmas and the year ahead.
Much Love and Peace
Geoff and Susan Stevenson