It’s been a dark year, wouldn’t you say, what some have called the year of fear – disease, wars, refugees, all too much ugliness, violence, and generally un-evolved humanity.
Into that story of darkness and fear, the world as we often experience it, comes God-with-us: the Christmas story in all its wildness and weirdness (yes, I love the bath-robed shepherds and rosy-cheeked angels but the nativity story is decidely not cute. See this good piece on innocuous pageants and a call for a renewal of the arts to help us reclaim Christmas).
I often need help to scrape away the froth and cliche, bringing me back to the wild heart of Christmas. Poet Denise Levertov captures the right posture of realism and wild hope.
On the mystery of the Incarnation
It’s when we face for a moment
the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
Joyful Mystery (by Jim Janknegt)
Creadora de Luz (by Lalo Garcia)
Emmanuel: God With Us (by Laura Kestly)