Christmas is strange! Finding Christmas peculiar again…considering the strangeness of Christmas again this year.
Every year I write a christmas poem. This year, thinking about the strangeness of Christmas, and how it helps to remember just how odd this story is. That ultimate God would chose to incarnate like this is weird, and maybe to rediscover the story beneath the cultural extroversion of this holiday, we need to see it as strange again (as an ultimately shocking narrative!)…my favorite part has always been these multi-cultural wise men staring at stars to find the Jew boy King. That alone is weird, and feels really true to me.
But there are lots of odd parts to the story about this hinge of history moment in space and time…
i know many no longer believe in christmas, as I have friends from many faiths and belief systems, but you at least have to consider how strange it actually is even outside the cultural frames. It’s an Odd God story!
So I’m focusing on the strangeness of christmas this year in order to let it enter freshly into me heart’s imagination. Also considering the multi-cultural and multi-dimensional oddity of it (“the angelic ripples”, as one monk put it). This happens again at the Resurrection, and to me the birth and resurrection are symbolically connected. I can’t think of christmas without thinking of easter!
There are lots of angels in the story, which we focused on last year, how His birth effected the spiritual realms; but also there are many cultures of wise people (my favorites) following the skies towards some prophetic event in a tiny town. They were also from all classes of society, and I assume all ethnicities!
Anyway, here is my little free verse christmas offering poem from this year, considering the strangeness of Christmas (of course, it’s never finished!):
God coming into earth and dirt christmas
Jesus in animal trough christmas
muddy diaper animal smell christmas
multi-cultural all classes of people christmas
all colors and sizes and styles of wise people christmas
dirty diapered in an animal trough Jesus christmas
on the road with family christmas
mystical sky mapped christmas
strange boy God Christmas
un-usual packaged God Christmas
God using unlikely frames to enter christmas
blood and water on straw breaking christmas
out of your comfort zone christmas
unlikely muddy gloried christmas
christmas was strange christmas
salt and light christmas
weird star lit christmas
strange people in the same room christmas
Jewish boy king christmas
strangest story ever christmas
of unlikely formed Glory incarnation christmas
strangest holiday ever
probably sukkoth christmas
probably weak vulnerable pilgrims in tents christmas
recalling our dependency christmas
Jesus as a pilgrim at birth christmas
strangest star on earth christmas;
probably with animals and what is lowly christmas
but also with royalty and earth kings christmas
probably very messy all around christmas
on the road christmas-long walk christmas
with strange men arriving christmas
weird way to change everything christmas
God’s ultimate creativity and love, christmas is.
everyone welcomed christmas!
if you’re weird enough to believe in
christmas. the greatest unlikely
christ with us, within us, in our own inner animal troughs christmas
Him with us in our ugliest spaces being born, christmas
Him choosing stable over cathedral christmas
His showing up as a kid christmas
The Hope of Christmas in such a small package
baby christ who cannot walk or talk christmas
angels singing in rounds above and walking into and within christmas
animals responding to their presence christmas
Jesus probably petting them christmas
smell of incense from foreign lands christmas
mixing with animal manure christmas
strange languages and weird regal gifts christmas
the Odd God breaking into history
Christmas. Strangest holiday there is christmas
and perhaps the truest revelation of up coming down. Christmas.
Everyone still in pain christmas, lonely and breaking
bombed and shaking at christmas;
yet, nothing’s the same because