Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December 25

Christmas, of course.
A male Cardinal--a fat pesky intrepid bird--has taken a shine to our bathroom window. For over a month now, each morning we're awakened by the sound of it pecking the window. There is a large bush outside, so it has a perch from which to launch its attacks.

We don't know why he does this. We think he sees his reflection in the window in the mornings and attacks. Poor misguided creature.

A few days ago I went into the bathroom and found that Robin had pasted a print of a large lion, mouth agape, facing outward on the window where our Cardinal friend resides in the mornings. It didn't help.


In the morning when you finally go
And the nurse runs in with her head hung low
And the cardinal hits the window
So, another Christmas Day: Sunrise, the cardinal hits the window, I wake up, and Robin ("Up at 10, awake at noon") is already up, rifling through her stocking. There is some really good stuff in there: gift cards which set a girl's mind dreaming of craft stores and whole food markets. The puppy, and I use the term loosely, gets walked, into a stiff northeast wind and back. A beautiful morning. I meet a stranger on our country road, "Good morning!" I say. "Merry Christmas!" back at me.

Church at nine: I'd asked last week if we could Please! have communion on Christmas Day, which was granted! During church I found myself thinking of this:

Ahem. I mean, we get just a biblical glance at the Christ child, a conflation of time and event. Just another baby born in an overcrowded little town in Judah, his daddy having to register with the Roman overlords. Read Fred Buechner's THE MAGNIFICENT DEFEAT; he does this so well.

Just a glance, and then he's twelve, and then he's thirty three. It would be easy enough to leave it at that, no freaked out shepherds; no angelic choirs, magi bearing gifts, otherworldly treasures hidden away in a mother's heart--these things amplify a story that is just so commonplace. Ok, some bad luck, a lady ready to deliver and the local inns booked solid.

So I would sort of understand the skeptics who say: "Why add the glitz? Why the glory? Is it really necessary? What's the point?"
Then a carol, then a sermon, then we commune. These mid-week Christmas morning services: just a few of us there, huddled around the Word.

1 comment:

Robin said...

You forgot to mention the buffet.
I was positive you were going to mention the buffet.