Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas and Hope

To all who are looking for hope, head on over to Bethlehem.

But be careful ... Herod is huffing and puffing.

Yes, hope is what we're dealing with.
Perhaps, like Paul notes, not in things we can see.
But things unseen.
Things that once seemed a bit more palpable.
But now shadowy and dim.

For the time being, Herod's in charge.
Backed by Rome.
And the religious elite of Jerusalem.
No one wanted an upset.

Except God.
Who seems intent on upsetting things.

So, who knows what tomorrow holds.
Though I like to think:
God holds us, in good hands.

I don't want to get all sentimental on this stuff.
Which is easy to do.
And nothing like sentiment to dull the senses.
And mislead the soul.

For way too many, or so I think.
Sentiment satisfies the soul.
So the soul can be locked up again.
Until next year.

A little sentiment, like cinnamon, goes a long way.
Have fun.
Sing "Silent Night" and light a candle.

But don't be misled.
Herod's power is soon to be revealed.
His fear and hatred soon to explode.
And the Holy Family flees for their life.

This Christmas is different for me.
I can't get Herod out of my mind.
And, I suppose, it would be wrong to try.
It's the way of things, far too often.

Merry Christmas, I'll say.
Because Christmas is the account of hope in dark times.
The account hope that sustains.
Even on the Refugee Road, with the Holy Family.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I know who I am ...

There aren't enough negative words,
To describe what I think of DT.
And his cabinet.

But, damnit all, I'm not anyone else but me.
I know what I value.
I know what's important.

And I stand by all of that.
In season.
And out of season.

When Paul wrote to Timothy about seasons.
It's always hit me deeply.
There are seasons when things are just right.

And seasons when the bitter winds.
Of adversity and confusion.
Blow away the right.

But, heck, so what?
In season.
Out of season.

I'll stay the course.
Honor my values.
And love God.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tough Times

Tough times.
Hard times.
Miserable times.
Such was the case.

For baby Jesus.
Parents on the move.
Ordered by Herod.
Hateful, hideous, paranoid Herod.

On the move.
Cold and dark.
The little inn was full.
But the inn keeper made room, anyhow.

We can always find room.
Jesus doesn't need much.
Just a little place will do.
And life begins anew.

And the birth came about.
Angeles sang to low-downs in the fields.
Foreigners saw the star and arrived.
Herod heard and Herod howled.

Who's this upstart?
This pretender to the throne!
This nobody!
Of no account!

But the wise men seem to know something.
I need to know, too.
Where's the little bastard.
Bethlehem, you say?

Kill 'em all.
Every last child.
Girl, boy - who cares.
Kill 'em all.

Parents flee to good old Egypt.
Nemesis and friend.
Where it all began.
Pharaoh and all.

Herod goes to hell in a handbasket.
Eaten up by worms.
Fitting end, I suppose,
For such a crummy creep.

But life wasn't to be easy for the child.
Life was one hardship after the other.
Maybe the first 30 years weren't too bad.
Good momma and good father.

But the last three.
A test for sure.
Easy way out?
Or the hard way in?

He choose the hard way.
And people hated him for it.
Couldn't wait to get rid of him.
Put an end to his malarkey.

But we're sort of stuck with him now.
But we still get rid of him, too.
We make his birth a commercial success.
And some yell Merry Christmas, in your face.

And groan and moan about taking Christ out of the deal.
When he's never been in the deal anyway.
Not the American deal of cash and carry.
Nor the evangelical stuff of sawdust and tears.

Life still isn't easy for the child.
For the man.
For God.
For Christ.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Child Is This?

In the darkest of nights,
In the chilliest of times,
When all is lonely and questioning.
There comes a moment.
The cry of a child.
Parents’ amazed.
Shepherds and Angels.
Wise Men and a Star.
The craziness of Herod.
Flight for life.
Who knows:
What child is this?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Advent - Stand On Our Heads

Advent is perfect for our times.
It says, "Just wait."
Some, of course, wanted big times and fanfare.
But such was not the case.

A child, a manger, refugee status.
There's never a welcome for such love.
Such love disgusts the rich and the powerful.
The mean and the proud.

And especially the religious.
Oh, how the religious love to be religious.
They sing "Joy to the World" with tears in their eyes.
And pat themselves on the back.

They give to charity, yes they do.
And "those people" who receive the alms.
Better damn well shape up.
Or ship out.

Advent says, "Wait."
But there's a strong and strange power in:
That kind of waiting.
That kind of wanting.

Advent turns the world upside down.
And perhaps to see God a little more clearly.
We'd do well to stand on our heads.
To see what God sees.