Stories of Hope – December 24

12 24

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And ran away to where
There were no rootless Christmas trees
Hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And ran away to where
There were no gilded Christmas trees
And no tinsel Christmas trees
And no tinfoil Christmas trees
And no pink plastic Christmas trees
And no gold Christmas trees
And no black Christmas trees
And no powderblue Christmas trees
Hung with electric candles
And encircled by tin electric trains
And clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And ran away to where
No intrepid Bible salesmen
Covered the territory
In two-toned Cadillacs
And where no Sears Roebuck creches
Complete with plastic babe in manger
Arrived by parcel post
The babe by special delivery
And where no televisioned Wise Men
Praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And ran away to where
No fat handshaking stranger
In a red flannel suit
And a fake white beard
Went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
In a Volkswagen sled
Drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
With German names
And bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
From Saks Fifth Avenue
For everybody’s imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And ran away to where
No Bing Crosby carolers
Groaned of a tight Christmas
And where no Radio City angels
Iceskated wingless
Thru a winter wonderland
Into a jinglebell heaven
Daily at 8:30
With Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
From his bare tree
This year
And softly stole away into
Some anonymous soul
He waits again
An unimaginable
And impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
The very craziest
Of Second Comings

This devotional was entitled “Stories of Hope,” but although it contained a few actual narratives of hope, it was kind of a bait-and-switch.

The truth is, your story, your life, is the story of hope as it mixes with God’s story of salvation that we see through Christ.  In light of Christ, all of our stories are ripe for redemption, surprise endings, unexpected “God moments,” and the promise that, through it all, God continues to walk with us.

In this season of Advent, our prayer is that you’ve been blessed in your waiting time with these short reflections, poems, questions, and prayers.

And as we now turn our hearts from waiting for Christ to celebrating Christ’s arrival, have a very Merry Christmas.

 

All italicized quotes, poems, and prayers come from An Advent Sourcebook (Liturgy Training Publications/Chicago, IL, 1986).

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