I find the rushing around at Christmas time, and all the decorations quite frustrating. A friend commented that she had not seen a single Nativity set so far this Advent.

I once wrote a rather irritated poem on the subject. I called it “Jangle bells” because the commercialisation of Christmas jars one’s senses.

C71     JANGLE BELLS 2000 — A DIALOGUE:    [20/12/2000

Jangle bells, jangle bells
To and from the banks

(Have all you forgotten
For what you should give thanks?)

Ho, Jangle bells, jangle bells
As we buy and sell

(Come on now, my children,
Get off the road to Hell)

Cash on the mirth
(But what about My Birth?)
Isn’t it quite odd
That some would bring in God?

Ho —  Jangle bells, jangle bells
To and from the banks

(Have all you forgotten
For what you should give thanks?)

Ho, Jangle bells, jangle bells
As we buy and sell

(Come on now, my children,
Get off the road to Hell)

Caught up in the things
On these last few shopping days
You can’t hear the angels sing
As they offer up My praise.

Ho —  Jangle bells, jangle bells
To and from the banks

(Have all you forgotten
For what you should give thanks?)

Ho, Jangle bells, jangle bells
As we buy and sell

(Come on now, my children,
Come, drink now from My Well.)

Nine years later  I see more clearly than ever that the birth in Bethlehem was the first step to the Cross and Resurrection. Bright Star, posted earlier this year does make the same point. That is why the traditional Carols And Nine Lessons services start with the Fall of Man. Hence the prophecies of the Messiah. Christmas without the Cross and Resurrection is as  meaningless as a fairy tale.

We also seldom think of Christmas as a time of suffering on God’s part:
“[Jesus] always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross.(Philippians 2:6-8). Jesus’s entire ministry was a sacrifice, from the moment of his birth.

A time of peace: “But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies.” (Eph 2:13-14) Our peace, forgiveness and reconciliation have been bought by the Blood of Jesus as an act of mercy and grace.

On your Christmas tree let the star be the (six pointed) Star of David and you can easily see where the superimposed Cross should fit.

The Real Christmas Tree

[C138 SV52]

The real Christmas tree
Is not a green isosceles triangle
Decked out with tinsel and candles
And kitschy flashing lights.

The real Christmas tree
Is not in a shopping mall
In an ambience of tinny carols,
Fake joy and credit cards,
Nor in a lounge, with neatly wrapped
Presents underneath, which might just last a year.

The Real Christmas tree
No longer stands
On a hill alongside a dusty road
Surrounded by sobbing, jeering,
Unwrapped, crude and lacking dignity
And dripping
The blood
That has freed me

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