Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It. W. H Auden
Yes, W. H. Auden, this Christmas Eve, “everything became a You and nothing was an It!” I loved this Christmas Eve the best of all my years of priesthood. Gorgeous music, flowers, mostly smooth liturgy, beloved people—friends and strangers. Okay, one of the greeneries caught a little bit on fire at the One o’clock, and we had a tiny little throw up moment at the Three! The good news of great joy still came to us! (Though it did take this 69 year old two days to recuperate!)
Around this block, it goes very very quiet the next eleven days after the first Eve of the first day of Christmas . . .
There is NO PROBLEM getting a parking place. There is just quiet, quiet, quiet.
There is no line to get in and no friends to hug, no children to exclaim over. Below a lady walks her chihuahua which is nice but not miraculous. Is Christmas over?
No Indeed! Christmas is not over! We are just catching our breath.
For instance, on the Third Day of Christmas here is Johnathan Davis, Executive Director Shepherd of the Covenant Community.
Below may be a little doorway on the North Avenue side of our block that you don’t recognize, but it’s a holy stable. Around this block we host ten 12-step meetings a week. Up these steps, people help each other find their lives and their personhood. Shepherding is always a community project.
And LOOK! Threads will open tomorrow just like always, because great kids deserve great clothes!
And of course even after the manger scene is put lovingly away, we still have our favorite donkey in the window! Remember around this block, jackasses are beloved, too! This is the window near where Carroll and I will be buried. We have lots of friends and relatives there already.
The theologian and poet Howard Thurman gives us our marching orders in this beloved poem. Please God may we live into this deep and abiding life.
The Work of Christmas
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.