Tis the season

For a Friend, Away from Home at Christmas
(written Christmas 2005)

In all the hub-bub
--the trees, the gifts, the cards, the busyness
even in “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”
(trying to discern Linus’ message from the tree)
we keep trying to regain
that sense
what it was really like
what it was really about
that first Christmas

Yet somehow
in trying to explain
to others
where they have misunderstood
I wonder if
once again
we overlook our own omissions

And so I want to know
about one other
this idea
that is never questioned
along with the others
but perhaps it should be

From where did it come
this idea
that we need to be
“home for Christmas”

When did the season
with its sparkle and snow
become a time to seek
and community
those who know us best
and love us most

It was not like that
at the start
the first Christmas
a couple travelling
Mary—no Elizabeth to help her birth the child
Wise men, sent wandering
after a star

And the babe
as far as could be
from his Father’s embrace
in pursuit of something bigger and better
(though it looked so small
just a baby in manger)

And you dear friend
though bitter, may it also be sweet
this Christmas
so far from home
in pursuit of something bigger and better
(though it looks so small
just hanging out with kids)

this barrenness
this desolate
is a little closer
tastes a lot like


May your Christmas, and mine, be blessed will all that was real and true about that first Christmas. If we get to be warm and cosy with those we love, thank Father for the extra blessings. If the season is a struggle, and hard. If there is sacrifice, and joy through travel, pain, tears and sacrifice, then maybe (only ‘maybe,’ not guaranteed) we’re getting closer to what it was really about. In any case, follow the star, to the Baby, and learn from Him how to live the season all over again.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Good insights! I hadn't really thought about the whole 'home for Christmas' thing... more to learn.
That one Christmas away from home two years ago was one of my favorites... I think the wonder came alive to me more in a place where it was some people's first time celebrating.

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