T’was the week after Christmas…

T’was the week after Christmas, and all through the house

there was plenty of food for the opportune mouse!

There was cold Christmas pud which no-one could eat,

and the fridge was still groaning with left-over meat.

Scraps of wrapping were strewn all over the floor,

and remote controlled cars crashed into the door.

The grown-ups were having a lie-in in bed,

and plans for their lego filled the little kids’ heads.

The Christmas tree drooped as it started to die,

and the pile of recycling was 2 metres high!

The children were hyper with too many sweets,

and instead of cards, Christmas greetings were Tweets!

The church was now empty – no people or song

and abandoned Christingles were starting to pong.

The Nativity scene figures looked all forlorn –

Did anyone care that the Saviour was born?

The Boxing-day sales were swelling the mall,

and no-one remembered the Christ-child at all.

Why did we celebrate his birth at this time?

and forget him next day as the cash registers chime?

Jesus was born for the sake of us all,

for the man sleeping rough, for the crowd in the mall,

for the over-fed, under-fed, all in-between,

for the poor and the rich, the generous and mean.

We must remember him every day

and give thanks to God that he saved us this way –

not with a Santa and reindeer-drawn sleigh,

but a vulnerable baby, asleep in the hay.

Rev. Felicity O’Brien Boxing Day 2013

Santa hats everywhere

My kids are getting really excited about Christmas, especially my 5 year old son. The kids had to  dress up for the Christmas disco at school, so they got all the Santa hats and decorations out, sorted out their costumes, and put all the stuff away tidily. (Wishful thinking…)

No they didn’t, they decorated the living room within an inch of its life – tinsel along the couches, tree skirts around the teddies, and what looked like a mannequin of Santa in the corner. I looked again – we don’t have a mannequin! What we do have temporarily is a large wooden cross, about as tall as my young Nathan (5) – it’s here while I find it a new home. Nathan had put a Santa jacket on the arms of the cross, and a Santa hat on the top, and tinsel around the neck bit!

It was a really odd image – the Cross, the icon of atonement, salvation, resurrection, covered over with gaudy cheap red material and white fluff.

Isn’t that how Christmas is getitng these days? The core idea, the real reason for our celebraiton, covered over by silly costumes and hype.

May we uncover our crosses at Christmas time, keep the Santa suits in their place, which is not the central place. Jesus is coming – born as a baby long ago, and born in our hearts today.