Other Writing

Spreading the News: a Christmas message

Write it or type it, in lower-case, upper-case
bold or italic, or thick underscore;
spotlighted; highlighted; then framed or skylighted,
nailed to a gatepost or mailed through a door.

Whisper it, murmur it, tell it, and yell it,
through tannoy or loudhailer, let people know!
Snap it and screenshot it, post it on Instagram;
Facetime it; Skype it; and let people know!

Share it, and Like it, retweet it and Tumblr it,
blog it and vlog it and make the news known!
SMS, BBM, PM and DM,
to friends and to followers, make the news known!

For news such as this has the power to change things;
news such as this has the power to set free__
all who are weighed down with guilt or resentment,
blinded by sorrow, yet yearning to see.

News such as this is a summons to justice,
putting the tyrants on notice at last.
News such as this is a clarion of mercy,
the tender assurance that soon, suff’ring’s past.

For there, in a manger, in far-distant Bethlehem,
there in a backwater, cent’ries ago,
there God was birthed into naked humanity,
signalling sure that God loves the world so.

Not in great pageant or pomp or procession,
not in great power did God deign to arrive,
but as an infant, so tiny and vulnerable,
hungry and thirsty and cold – yet alive!

Alive – bringing hope both to friend and to stranger,
affirming God’s welcome to all who have breath.
Alive – the assurance that God’s love is stronger,
stronger than powers of darkness and death.

For this child – alive, in the arms of his mother,
this child – whom shepherds and angels surround,
he is the one on whom prophets have pondered:
destined to suffer, betrayed, bruised and bound –

Destined to die as one shamed and scapegoated,
hoisted on high as he struggles for breath.
Suffering wounds undeserved and inhuman…
yet by his suffering, undoing death.

Undoing death, by his life of obedience,
undoing death, by his pattern of grace.
And so this Jesus, whose birth now we celebrate,
undoes our death – as he shows us God’s face.

News such as this won’t be sidelined or silenced,
called an opinion, an “exchange of views”.
Christ’s birth compels us to boldness and clarity:
all that we say and do, spreading the news.


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