of course, i’d give all the theology up for just one good idea…

i’m planning some sacred spaces for christmas at the moment, for a variety of contexts and ‘audiences’. today was my big day to make it happen – almost meeting free, working from home, a whole day to get inspired, and pull it together. It’s 3.30 and all i have is a dozen less ideas than i did at this time yesterday. luckily, i know it’s like this every christmas, so i’m not panicked. though maybe i need the panic. either that or gin.

i’m ignoring the lectionary readings because they’re a really uninspiring selection this year, and i’m bypassing the story of the birth because i want to get back to the idea of finding universal entry points into the grand themes of life, letting the Christian story be illustrative rather than prescriptive… whatever that means…

and instead of being a place where we talk about these things, describe them so you don’t miss them when they happen, it would be nice if it was a place to encounter these things, so we go away different… so i started thinking about the wishlist, what i really wanted for christmas… in a space, and really, just in general…

a moment of knowing that this night is not all there is
and not all there will be

an encounter with the kind of hope that captivates our imagination
so we can’t help but become more than who we thought we were,
and find ourselves living for something that is all at once
preposterous and impossible

– world peace –
predictable, i guess, and unlikely
so perhaps a smaller moment would do
– just a sign that we want war to stop enough
to relinquish the satisfaction of the moral high ground
to give up our easy stereotypes and caricatures
of nations and people

[to know that any label
or Palestinian
is never enough
to do justice to anyone

but i digress]

to experience a moment it’s real,
when the theory becomes sacrament,
where we wonder what just happened then…

[That’s all i want for christmas

though i acknowledge
that i’d be happy to settle for less
like those earrings with the origami birds, a le creuset casserole, or the new augie march cd

and perhaps therein lies the problem…]


  1. I’ve occasionally wondered about what it would look like if you moved a few days on from the birth and focused on Anna and Simeon who, as very old people, finally saw their hopes fulfilled, and look at what our hopes are and what it might look like to have them fulfilled. What it was like for the people of Berlin when the wall fell down. What it was like for our Aboriginal people when the 1967 referendum had them counted as Australians(!!) What it was like for the first women to be ordained. Fulfillment of hope as the beginning of a new journey, but one where we can be confident that God does fulfil our hopes?

  2. aren’t we all always seduced by the lesser things? Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to notice the things on the wish list you made.
    Of course a bottle of Hendricks should always be on the list!

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