HAPPY CHRISTMAS

IN THE BEGINNING

A voice says, "Cry!" And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.


The story's beginning requires its ending. It contains its own conclusion, and cannot survive without it.

The holly bears a berry, as red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good


We mouth tinsel-tongued greetings, but to what do they tend? Are they the sticky sweet nothings of the hollow men? In a kingdom dying for want of water, I cannot simply say "go in peace, be warm and filled." A baby is a sweet thing, but you know the trouble with kittens--they grow up to be cats, and all cats die. Did something nice happen a few thousand years ago?

I am unable to say what needs to be said, but I'll say it anyway.

It's only worth noticing anything in these days if it runs not simply one day, not even thirty-three years, but all these thousands. In the mountains of God, in the red land and the black land, and here at the end of the world, it's the same. What has happened is simply this: the Almighty brought to pass the greatest piece of cosmic legerdemain ever conceived, and paid Himself the debt incurred by all of us, by you and me and the wickedness of this wicked old world.

His children remember this meaningless date only because they are waiting for Him to come back and finish what He started, what he is doing by means too strange to understand.

That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.

And where will all of my loves and my lo-ammi be found in that day? I cannot make anyone, I am not the Almighty. So I pray and I wait and sometimes, I say ill-conceived and ham-handed things in the hope that it is not, at least, the wrong thing entirely. I ask you to hear with the hearing of the ear, knowing only that I must and that God gives the increase and that I cannot confess or believe for you. I can listen and I can answer and I can hand you books, or the one book, but I cannot make.

So, here at the end of the world, festooned with scrappy garland and picking at the scabs on my knuckles, I wait.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

REJOICE

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