Thursday, December 29, 2005

For the sake of the children.

LutheranChik has a thought provoking post about the Holy Innocents, and the way children have continued to suffer down the centuries...

Christmas -- the real Christmas, the inbreaking of God's saving power in the person of Jesus Christ -- is also for children who live in the shadow of death -- death by the hand of the mad or malicious; death by the culmination of many banal evils inflicted by a chain of ignorant and/or callous adults; death by natural disaster; death by poverty, by disease, by neglect

Coming as it did hard on the heels of my own sense of wounding the Christ-child afresh, it put me in mind of this poem by Steve Turner, which I have in an anthology called
The Christmas Road, ed Pamela Egan (and now apparently untraceable, which is rather a has some good material)

Christmas is really
for the children.
Especially for children
who like animals, stables
stars and babies wrapped
in swaddling clothes.
Then there are wise men,
kings in fine robes,
humble shepherds and a
hint of rich perfume.

Easter is not really
for the children
unless accompanied by
a cream-filled egg.
It has whips, blood, nails
a spear and allegations
of body snatching.
It involves politics,God
and the sins of the world.
It is not good for people
of a nervous disposition.
They would do better to
think on rabbits, chickens
and the first snowdrops of spring.

Or they'd do better to
Wait for a re-run of
Christmas without asking
too many questions about
what Jesus did when he grew up
or whether there's any connection.


Mary Beth said...

I'll never forget when my 4-year-old niece asked me, after Easter Church service, "what happened to Jesus? They said he rose, where was he before that?" I was about 20 at the time and I'm sure I made a total hash of trying to answer by giving too much information.

Kathryn said...

And doesn't the lectionary encourage the confusion,in a way...We go from the Epiphany, next Friday, to the Baptism of Christ on the Sunday...30 years or so in 2 days. No wonder your niece was doubtful!a

Apostle John said...

Great post!