Let me be clear, I don’t hate Mrs Windsor. I couldn’t care less about her. She has plenty of people to worry about the perfect weave and thread-count of her toilet silk. She doesn’t need me to like or dislike her. So, I’m indifferent to her and her entire family. But I loath her entitled Christmas Day intrusion. I despise the institution of the monarchy. It makes me sick to my stomach. This is the one part of Christmas Day that reminds me that I’m not the Christian I ought to be, but, then, the Christian that I am compels me to speak out against her arrogance. It’s a balancing act.
Right now Syria strikes us as a place of terrible and horrible endings, a country rent asunder by the violence of war and unimaginable bloodshed. We have heard of a revolution gone wrong, internecine sectarian conflicts, the brutality of a despotic state, and powerful foreign intervention on every side.
Zuka, their other son who is in the throes of that developmental crisis known to every parent as the terrible twos, got a selection box. He tore this open immediately and sent Maltesers flying all over the room – exactly what I would have done if there were no rules.
So the cooking of the proverbial goose has been brought forward a few days. Just to add to the risk of breaking teeth on lead shot from the meat a doorway had to be removed so as to get a table (that had to be dismantled and re-assembled) from one room to another.
Looking over the window Nativities of Dublin it was interesting to see what was variable within these acceptable norms and what was not. One of the most beautiful – in my opinion – was a gorgeous little pottery Nativity of caricatured Native North Americans. Indeed the birth of God in humanity was and is for all humanity, but it was amusing to see that this infant retained his northern European hair colour.
Adoration of God, as the Nativity account makes clear, has always been the prophetic action of the powerless on the peripheries – were not Mary and Joseph also “Jews?” Are we to assume that the shepherds in the surrounding Judean countryside were not Jews as well? This is absurd.
We’ve read all about the community in Nebraska, and I have to confess that I read it with some mirth, where a group of Atheists rented out all of the public space months in advance of Christmas to put up a Jesus free Christmas display where the town’s Nativity scene had traditionally been displayed.
Today and tonight it is this peace we wish one another, and hope to share together; a peace that surpasses mere silence and reaches out in peace to bring peace to others. This Peace I wish you tonight, on this your last sleep before Santa comes.