On my poetry page, you'll find some new poems for the season. Do go and read them and enjoy. One of the poems, 'Ragamuffin Rumours', attempts to capture something of the rumours which must have rippled around Bethlehem when a bunch of excited shepherds started to share the news of what they'd seen. The story, told and re-told in scripture and through our annual nativity plays, is now so familiar to us that sometimes it hardly makes an impact. But to the folks of Bethlehem it must have seemed beyond belief, questionable gossip of the highest order.
The poem ends with the words, "can't possibly be true". I wonder how many shoppers in our Christmas markets would make the same response; how many people today feel the reality of Jesus seems beyond belief?
John Betjeman puts the question beautifully, in a verse from his 'Christmas' poem:
And is it true,This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Became a Child on earth for me?
Let's take a pause in our preparations to dwell in the incredible nature of those questions and in the truth of the answer. And as we rejoice in our Christmas celebrations, may we let the wonder of that truth ripple out in love to others, especially those for whom this season is a painful time.
Have a deeply Happy Christmas - one that's full of love and laughter and a host of holy moments.