BRUCE C WEARNE
Oh yeah, Christmas - well yes, the children and the old people
need to have their festivities. So yes, I'll be there, I'll
take the day off and yes, I've got some presents - over there
in the corner - I'll be part of it. Church? Well, OK but maybe
something'll come up and I might have to miss that but I will
be there for lunch.
Really though, I know it's
something that we can't do without, I know, but I'm no longer
a child and really my mind is not really on such things -
I have to keep my mind on the job. So much to do. So much
to arrange. So much to get in order for the new year. A new
broom. A new way of doing things. Resolutions. You know. A
new year and clean start and all that.
All this Jesus in the Manger
stuff, it's not where I'm at. Not really.
The people who have been wandering around in the dark
have just seen a great light!
A light shines down upon them, those living in the Land of
the Shadows of Death.
And last year when I went to church - sure, I hadn't been
to church for a few months - but you know that preacher really
wasted all our time. You know what he talked about? He talked
about that other holiday. Easter. Jesus on the cross! Jesus
risen from the dead. Why couldn't he keep to the topic. For
goodness sake it was Christmas after all. Why bring all that
other stuff in? The blood and the suffering. Doesn't he know
that Christmas is for children? Why all that suffering stuff?
When you made the nation bigger, it did not increase
And that's the problem with this religious talk, even at Christmas.
It seems to always be negative. You're always moaning. I have
mentioned it so many times...
But now with that light, they are shouting in your
face for joy as people shout at harvest time or as people
romp about when they share in the booty after a battle. For
you have broken to pieces the yoke weighing them down, the
heavy yoke upon their shoulders, and the threatening club
of their taskmaster - yes, you have broken to pieces - like
that day with the Midianites...
Let's just get on with Christmas and let's keep it happy right!
And there is tumult: all their boots of war, pulled
on in battle alarm, and all their blood-smeared battle fatigues
and clothes are being burnt, (thrown into) a fire which licks
And why can't the story just stay with the angels and the
shepherds and the wise men - why bring politics into it? Yes,
we know that Herod slaughtered all the baby boys in Bethlehem,
but do we need to mention it when there is so much terror
and threats of injustice and corruption that we have to deal
with quite apart from it being Christmas? Can't we just sing
Silent Night, Joy to the World and look
at the manger scene and say a prayer or two and then go home?
[Now let's see - there is this promise of a child
born of a virgin...]
All this stuff about miracles - get real.
A child is born for us, a son, a male child is given
to us; and the office of Commander is put on his shoulders.
I do wish you would keep your politics out of Christmas. Why
do we have to be reminded of all the trouble in the world
when we are remembering Christ's birthday? Let's keep our
mind on Christmas and enjoy what God has given...
The name of the child is this: Miraculous Wisdom,
Almighty God, Father of Time, Lord of Perfection!
What was the name of that song we used to sing? Away in
a manger - and don't start making connections with our
tourism industry either. Hotels have to work within their
margins you know. Or start bleating on about the homeless
or those good for nothings who drink too much and sleep in
parks. It's Christmas, let's have a bit of optimism here!
Remember "the little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes".
And so that he may build up and make strong the throne
of David, that is, his kingdom, with law and justice, his
command and saving peace shall undergo no end but continue
from that time on into eternity.
OK, you've said what you've wanted to say now. I need a latté.
Let's go shopping and buy some more cakes. Is somebody at
home to look after the children?
The jealousy of God, LORD of the angels, will see
to it that this is fulfilled.
Isn't your Christianity ever going to grow up? Do we always
have to come back to that baby?
Father in Heaven,
We pray you will teach us the true meaning of the coming of
that baby, your own belovéd Son, who came to share
our life, to feel our pain, to live and to die and to be raised
that He might raise us to the life you have always wanted
for us - a life that rejoices exuberantly as we are convicted
and conforted by the message of Isaiah who reminds us of the
Light of the world who is surely on His way and shall come
again. Help us to walk in His ways.
We pray in the name of the one named Miraculous Wisdom, Almighty
God, Father of Time, Lord of Perfection.
This reflection on Christmas is based upon and modifies
Calvin Seerveld's translation and exposition of Isaiah 9:2-7
in 'Take Hold of God and Pull - fresh words from Scripture
for our lives today', Paternoster Press 1999, pp.168-171.
The interpolated comments are my own and I have in places
modified Seerveld's version of the Biblical verses.