Blessings for Christmas from South Africa and Aotearoa

Beverley Osborn of Aotearoa sent this her Christmas card: 

Eight hundred years ago, Hildegarde of Bingen said, “Every creature glistens and glitters as a mirror of divinity.”

After a night of storms — sleep broken
by the sound of lashing rain and roaring winds —
I awoke to sunlit calm.
Every twig gleamed with light,
even the broken ones.
Sapphire and topaz and ruby drops
shimmered on grass blades
that were springing upright again, undefeated.

I thought of the storms of violence and terror and hate
that sweep our world.

It’s Christmas!

We remember the serene radiance of the Christ star
that is hope and kindness and love.

May victims, swept aside like debris,
know their own shining worth.
May oppressors put off their dark blind-folds
and be dazzled by the vision of what they,

A gift from John Stuart

A gift from John Stuart


and all others, are called to be.

Isobel Degruchy from South Africa.

Emptying

We claim, “The Lord’s my shepherd,
I’ll not want”,
that God supplies our every need, and yet
we cling to what is offered by the world
by way of comfort and of ease.
We clutch at its security,
and try to raise our status when we can –
project an image to impress
all those who matter in our eyes –
even the image of a model Christian.
We hold on tightly to our possessions,
our position and our pleasures,
while still claiming that we follow Christ.

So we still acclaim Christ’s birth,
his coming as a human to our world.
Do we forget he had equality with God,
but did not cling to that,
emptied himself, became a nobody?
He gave up everything except his love
and his resolve to bring us to a place
where we could see just what we were.
He freed us from ourselves,
so we could become
who we were meant to be.

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