the week of flying paper and rolls of tape.
hidden presents surfacing from cupboard depths–
falling deeper and deeper into
the tumult of traditions.
the giving effort
more like an exhausting marathon
of colors and things.
standing in pews singing carols–
hymns i grew up with
the words fall from my mouth effortlessly
the meaning lost–stunted
amid the jumble of traditions and mindless repetition.
the reason for this time is close
but surrounded by already full
hearts and minds
it lays listlessly by our swollen organs.
the purpose of the celebration:
a birth of one whom angels announced.
lights dressing the trees
angels sitting magnificently from up top
garlands and boughs adoring hearth and rail
numerous lists and to-dos and shopping–
these hardly seem relative
to a story upon which we base
the fury and arranged decor.
but what about our “joyous strains” (1)
and our “jubilee” (1)?
how are we to
“come and adore on bended knee/Christ the Lord the newborn king” (2)?
the “incarnate deity” (2)?
to give thanks for “sinners reconciled” (1)?
coming together for a common theme:
praising the “Lord descending”(3) this season
and worshiping the Lord or Lords–
1. hark the herald angels sing
2. angels we have heard on high
3. angels from the realms of glory
One of my favorite songs this Christmas:
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.