I don’t feel Christmassy, my house has lights hung, a tree up, but other than that I have to confess to have done nothing much towards Christmas, I have bought presents for my two youngest grandchildren, but they are unwrapped and unposted, and the season is weighing heavily upon me with its demands for good cheer, when I don’t have an ounce of good cheer to share.
If I am honest I feel bleak this Christmas time, not hopeless, but certainly bleak, bleak personally, politically, bleak, for humanity, and even for the church. I don’t want to sing Carols, I can’t rejoice but I can hope. I will have lead 4 funerals before this week is out, and the words each one begins with chime hope in my heart in the midst of sadness, grief and at times despair.
“I am the resurrection and the life”- words of defiance in the face of death calling us beyond our grief, lifting us towards the light and life of constant love…
Yet I struggle with the exclusivity of the words of our funeral liturgies, and cannot procalim the the kin-dom ( yes there is a g mising- think on that) is only open to believers, for I believe that it is open to all, and all will have the chance to embrace the love that longs to embrace them…
Surely that is what the incarnation is all about, love as a tiny spark, a gentle but persistent flame, illuminating and warming us, pushing back the darkness and calling us to be-loved, to be beloved….
When I ponder a God who would put on flesh, enter the world as an infant, choose to experience the fullness of the human condition, and grow into it, and dare I say grow through it I am humbled and awed at the same time. How can this be, and how does it speak to me. me who is struggling today with bleakness, bleakness of heart and soul?
Well it certainly calls me to look again, for hidden in our fancy words are some stark truths, incarnation, enters skin and flesh and bone in utter vulnerability, incarnation needs a mothers milk, and incarnation shits and pukes and cries, babies do! Is this what we mean? I suspect we don’t, but I also suspect that it is true, just as the crucifixion was messy and horrible so was the birth, and when the blood smeared infant slipped , probably painfully ( at least for his mother) into the world, there was mess, and muck, blood, sweat, and tears.
Into the mess hope comes, a spark in the dark, turning us to hope beyond our sense of hopelessness keeping life alive….
A light shines in the darkness, and will not be overcome. Oddly, even though I am signed off with stress related depression this Christmastime, and rejoicing is beyond me, yet I have hope….
Finally if you have not received a Christmas card from me it is because currently I do not have the energy to send one..