July 25 – Christmas in July

It’s Christmas in July at our church
and we hear the old stories
and sing the carols
without all the seasonal accumulation
of gifts and tinsel and loneliness.
It’s a heat wave
and we are channeling Australian Christmas,
but anyway, I’m trying to explain
the incarnation
and people are sweating
so maybe it is unnecessary.
They see the god-bump
on the young woman
and how willing to become a refugee
is her broken-hearted fiancé,
the dirty rural migrants
listening to corridos
of Norteño bands in the sky,
wizards who don’t know herod from hogwarts,
and to finish off
the list of unlikely companions –
one grouchy, tired, so no-vacancy
who sends Mary and Joseph
out back to the stable
then deals with the paying customers
who complain some great big star
is shining in their windows
and they can’t sleep –
so why doesn’t he turn it off?
And no one ever
has been able to turn it off.
But then I understand –
somewhere between “O little town”
and “hark the herald” –
that the in-carnation,
in spite of a long heritage
of theological self-indulgence
means God is willing
to be in everyone’s button hole.
(Maren C. Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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