It was in the middle of summer that I was asked to write a short reflection/poem about any aspect of Christmas. Mind you not such a challenge as one might think because the shops were already filling shelves with chocolate Santas, plastic trees and nuts galore. My Mum often buys nuts early for Christmas to put away, inevitably she has to buy some more by about 20th December because she has succumbed to nutty temptation, and who can blame her?
Behind the Tinsel
Within the tinsel shimmering, gift-wrapped
sentimentality a dim light catches my eye.
I follow the light to a messy shelter,
a simple coarse place where animals eat.
The stench of the beasts rises like a sour incense,
blending with sounds of struggle.
Here behind the cheery cards and artificial snow
is the hard, flesh-bound reality of love.
Here is the greatness of the small,
God’s risk-taking life-giving love.
In the weakness of a new-born child
is hope in the face of despair.
Here is the very essence of Christmas, Christ – holy,
God with us, Emmanuel.