Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Night Like No Other

This is something I wrote a number of years ago now, when our boys were very small. I hope it still speaks.

A Night like no other - A Meditation on the Eve of Christmas

The gifts are all wrapped - well, most of them
      prepared for the assault of tiny fingers (and not so tiny);
the shops are closed - well, most of them
      preparing for the onslaught of the sales;
the children are asleep - well, most of them
      awaiting what the morning will bring,
    and leaving the parents wondering when that morning will begin.

Our attempts to placate the insistent and the persistent,
     our expressions of affection and gratitude,
     our tokens of love,
  are presented and await the desired response.
It is Christmas Eve - the night before the morning after
      and the air is thickening with anticipation;
it is a night like no other.

What's he bringing you?
You'd better be good, or he won't come!
I hope we've not forgotten anyone!

In a draughty shed,
   a young girl tries to feed and comfort her Son,
     only a few hours old.
Behind her, her fiancé tries to find enough clean straw
   to line the feeding trough that will double as a cot
     for tonight at least.
Outside the early morning sounds of the city clamour to be heard
      soon the light will be here, the day will have come.

No, the Light has already come.
The One Who caused the light,
    Who brings the light,
    Who is The Light,
is there in the stable
     in the arms of a teenage mother.

The Day has already come;
that for which so many had hoped,
    and dreamed,
    and longed,
    and prayed has arrived.

The Gift that all need,
    but so few want,
is there, gift-wrapped in swaddling cloths,
    but still waiting for a tree.

The pleading of the insistent and persistent has been heard by the Father
     their needs have been met;
the greatest expression of affection and token of love is there,
awaiting eager hands to grasp it and claim it and own it,
for their name is there, written in the palms of His hands.

And the Father is waiting to see the look on our faces.

Copyright  © John L Simms 1994