A wonderful element of being members of a worldwide community of faith is the opportunity to witness the Christmas season through the eyes of people all over the planet. In the southern hemisphere, instead of heading into the often-dreaded dark days of northern hemisphere winter, (which have had an impact on Advent and Christmas hymnody) the blossoming of summer, long hours of sunshine and an exuberant atmosphere welcome the Christ Child. This poem, by Beverley Osborn, I have borrowed from a future publication … because I love it so much!
Bright pink lamps are flaming
on the old horse-chestnut tree
and a shining of gold candles
in the kowhai I can see.
The lanterns of the lantern tree
are glowing deeply red
and, here and there, a flame tree
flares bright orange overhead.
Great banks of rhodo blossom
with the colours of the dawn
and buttercups and daisies
gleam like stars across the lawn.
We cannot see the colours
in the darkness of the night
but their beauty is revealed
with the coming of the light.
The light of all our living
is the child of Christmas story,
who shows God’s love – its constancy,
its hope and strength and glory.