Love the clouds & rain, the winter mist; the cultural nostalgia scours the scrooge’s hard-drive for the Christmas memo we all missed.
What a wonderfully scandalous & universally confusing holiday of love & contradictions for us to sing & celebrate!
Presents could not cure an acute moral loneliness, & more lights lit up by our electronic age could not produce more reverence than a solitary devotional candle on an altar in a quiet room.
Let’s not curse the culture—but dance in our family bungalow, wearing house slippers & fresh pajamas.
Let’s not complain about the crowds—but endure lines & parking lots patiently & love strangers quietly & persistently.
Let’s not curse the culture— but praise the kernel of everything real & breathing & beating inside of it & work for the effervescent everlasting marvelous mystery outside of it.
Let’s not unravel the amalgamation of contradiction but pierce the impersonal cold with a welcome table—the heathen invited to the secret party with the sacred fool & the infant prince.
Let’s not take a tradition whose blood flows from the holy outsider & whose fire burns for the wholly outcast & turn it into a sterile clique for the neutered & neutral.
War’s cold craves the heat of peace. Stoke the fire first in your heart, then gather your friends around an open hearth to share bread or bird or cake or cranberries.
Winter’s excluded wanderers still walk the streets in search of whisky & food & love, but we meet them with a sober intoxicant to save the infinitely serious, a silly proposition that pulls the rug out from under our elaborate ruin, a crazy lover’s solution to the madness of fear: a radical savior disguised as a bastard child in the arms of the eternal feminine.
Let’s let go of yesterday’s holiday theme & break open the bark on a grace-induced meme. Wake up from the longest night into light’s longest dream: the sun of righteousness, the gospel of peace, an outlandish & outrageous outpouring of love for the world.
—Andrew William Smith, Cookeville, TN
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