I’ve been visiting the folks for a day now, back around home, or what was home until 2003ish when I decided I needed to move from Adelaide and found myself in the ACT, and now in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Tonight’s Rockwiz had Tim Freedman singing a song by Ron Sexsmith which I’ve not heard before, but wanted to hear again almost imediately. The problem is that I could only find Ron’s version on the OC’s Soundtrack volume 3, or as a cover by Leigh Nash on itunes, great, my latest purchase supported the OC, I hope it doesnt affect my social ranking, or my google one for that matter…
The song, “Maybe Christmas” is a song of hope, of wondering if it’s possible, if perhaps, this Christmas will be the one that inspires us to peace rather than war, a time where forgiveness is practiced rather than revenge, that love will overpower us rather than the sense of consumerism and narcissism that Christmas seems to promote. As I listened to it I heard a prayer, prayer of hope, that maybe, perhaps, this might be possible this year, even if it’s not been done before.
it seems that each Advent we light four candles, one for Hope, another for Love, another for Peace and the final one for Joy as we journey towards Christmas Day and the celebration of a birth that would bring to the world someone who would show it, show us what it really means to have faith, what it really means to be human, what it really means to be in community with one another, what it really means to be peaceful, full of hope, full of possibilities… A baby that would herald the new hope, the new promise, the new life that we are called to, the new Kingdom in which the last are first, where peace and love reign, that’s tears which were cried at the time of birth would also be cried again at the time of death.
Hope is, unfortunately one of those things which I think many have given up on, the poor will remain poor, those affected with AIDS will inevitably die and, possibly after they’ve passed it to one or more others, those in Jail cannot be released or rehabilitated or forgiven, that consumerism will always win the day, especially on Christmas, that those who are dead we will never see again, that war will always be here, that dictators are only ever replaced by dictators, that our vote’s don’t really count during elections, that the world is going to die no matter how much I recycle…
You get the drift…
Hope is lost, perhaps…
Yet, during Advent we continue to pray, and we light a candle to remind us of the hope that Christmas should remind us of, and I wonder how we move beyond just remembering times where we did hope, but towards a time where we once again can and do hope for a new world, a new order, a new kingdom, a new community.
Perhaps this year we can add the word “maybe” to our vocabulary, the word “hope” to our heart and the actions that show that the hope for each other, the hope for a new world, the hope for the water of life, the love of all loves, the King of all Kings Jesus is still within us, in our grasp, as our great motivator.
At Christmas we’re reminded of the mother Mary in her labor pain being told over and over again to push, to not give up, to not stop, to continue beyond exhaustion for the hope of her, of God’s child is at stake, we’re reminded of a Joseph who was asked not to give up on Mary by the Angel, we’re reminded of the Prophet growing up as a child who would soon be in the Desert calling people to repent with the hope of the one who would come after him, the community of people who, perhaps without knowing it continued to pray for their community and for the coming of one who would once again bring hope to their kin, their family, their community in the love of their God.
Maybe this Christmas you too can regain the hope that you need to hold on to, whether it be the hope that you will find love, the hope that you will be forgiven, the hope that you will be able to forgive, the hope that the world can change, the hope that perhaps, against all the odds the message of this tiny baby might get passed on like the Chinese whisper that everyone needs to hear, that the poor will no longer be poor, that the affluent may see it in all their hearts to give all to save the world, that peace is attainable, that war can and will end, that you will find love…
Hope’s probably one of the hardest things to do, but perhaps, just perhaps it’s one of the things we need more than anything else, the hope that change is attainable, that peace is present, that God’s baby will break through the thick fog and clouds of hopelessness to show us a glimpse of a blue sky.
Maybe this Christmas you will be invited to hold the baby Jesus in your arms, close to your chest, against your heart…
Maybe this year you, me, us, we all can change…
Maybe this Christmas will mean something more
Maybe this year love will appear
Deeper than ever before
And maybe forgiveness will ask us to call
Someone we love
For reasons we can
Maybe this Christmas
Maybe the star that shined before
Will shine once more
And maybe this Christmas will find us at last
In heaven, at peace
Prayed for at least
For the love we
Maybe this Christmas