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If tomorrow morning you woke up

and there were no Christmas lights

no household decorations

no Christmas trees or presents

no family gathered for special meals...

 

If tomorrow morning you woke up

and there was no jolly old St. Nicholas

no Rudolph, sleigh, or reindeer

no dream of festive fruit and food

nor bottled Christmas cheer...

 

If tomorrow morning you woke up

and all you had was only this story

a Jewish baby born in a first century hovel

another illegitimate child in Bethlehem

“the love of God embodied in a baby”...

 

If tomorrow morning you woke up

and on your lips were only the simple words

“for unto you is born this day

in the midst of our living

one in whom you can experience God”...

 

Would it be enough?

Would it be enough to know

that you are in the midst of all that God is...

would it be enough to know

that you are a part of God’s justice that might yet be...?

 

To see God through the window of this stable

to know the spirit of God in the birth cry

to feel the breath of God in the whimper

to see the earthiness of God in the straw

to experience the presence of God in flesh and blood...

 

To see God through the window of this stable

to have the song of God ringing in our ears

to be “blown away” by the power of God’s word

to know that the dirt–the floor–is holy ground

to be grounded in the being of God...

 

To see God through the window of this stable

to have our ears burn as the disempowered are empowered

to watch the world’s greatest humbled at the feet of the poor

to know God, not in the somewhere out there,

but in the every day

to feel God in the heart-ache, to feel God in the laughter...

 

To see God through the window of this stable

to see God not as a little baby, but as the ground of all that is alive

to be moved to pursue the way of God in the wilderness

to cherish every moment of every hour of every living thing

to be as a Christ, as a God presence in the living that surrounds us...

 

Would it be enough?

Would it be enough to know

that you are in the midst of all that God is...

would it be enough to know

that you are a part of God’s justice that might yet be...?

 

Here on Christmas Eve for many reasons!

It must be more than just the straw tickling a baby’s toe

it must be more than a stable full of animals settling for the night

it must be more than a manger holding new life

it must be more than carols and candles...

 

Here on Christmas Eve for many reasons!

What a unique and privileged experience this is

free to wander in unafraid and laughing

unrestricted speech, stories of God and faith

hope, peace, joy, love, and one called Jesus...

 

Here on Christmas Eve for many reasons!

A wonderful and wonder-filled time

a time of God’s desire not to be separated from

a time of God’s desire to be intimately acquainted with

the women and men, the young and old of this world...

 

Here on Christmas Eve for many reasons!

To be joined with family and friends in a Holy moment

for the praise of our God in word and spirit

for the love of our God so graciously offered

to witness to the birth of Jesus, a new way of being alive...

 

Would it be enough?

Would it be enough to know

that you are in the midst of all that God is...

would it be enough to know

that you are a part of God’s justice that might yet be...?

 

If tomorrow morning you woke up

and there were no Christmas lights

no household decorations

no Christmas trees or presents

no family gathered for special meals...

 

Would it be enough?

Would it be enough to know

that you are in the midst of all that God is...

would it be enough to know

that you are a part of God’s justice that might yet be...?

 

“For you have nothing to fear!...

I come to proclaim good news to you–

news of a great joy to be shared...newness is born...

Glory to God...And on earth, peace....”

God’s will to all!

 

Let us come and see...

Let us experience what God is making known.

 

Dave Denholm, Stettler U.C., Stettler, Alta.

First published in Gathering, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany, 2004–2005. Reproduced here with permission of the author.