The other day I was in Hobby Lobby and walked by a bright green and shiny ceramic plate that proclaimed, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I shook my head and exclaimed inwardly over the absurdity. From a mysterious event 2,000 years ago that baffled even the wisest of men, to a festive plate, 2,000 years later that neatly entombs Jesus in holiday wrapping.
Saturday afternoon we decorated our house for Christmas which meant I pulled out my burgeoning nativity collection. Manger scenes scattered high and low. I see magic reflected in the nativity, a sense of wonder that can’t be captured. Mary’s figure bent over the babe reminds me to ground myself in the joy and awe of the season. To immerse myself in a Love that could/can be cradled and hugged. Immanuel, God-With-Us. But Mary also gently points out that this Love was/is not to be contained. Not by her or anyone else either.
Advent by Muriel Stackley
A coming occurred last week.
Baby Jesus crashed through his 100-watt manger
and careened around the corner.
“There he goes,” cried the citizens.
It was easy to follow him because the thud of his boots,
bound after bound, resounded on the concrete.
“B.J.,” they cried. “B.J., come back. You can’t just leave.”
With one last whoop and holler he disappeared into an alley
just past the No U-Turn sign.
The citizens fell behind, panting, and returned to the manger corner.
“What else can you expect from a guy like that?”
they muttered into their collars.
Later, far away from where all the electric blankets went full blast,
the low sobs,
which for some time had been punctuating the nights,