I was asked to create a video for Premier Digital for Christmas, a reflection on the year gone by and the Christmas season. I said yes, knowing I had all sorts of things I could talk about, but when I sat down to right it I felt overwhelmed.
Where do you start with a Christmas message in a pandemic? Where do you go when we don't even know what the rules might be tomorrow, let alone next week. What do I say when I'm still processing everything that's gone on, especially when my advice to people is to take life a day at a time and try not to worry too much about what has gone and what will come.
Of course I could share about the way disabled and chronically ill people have been abandoned by society, expected to start shut away or make their own decisions about their safety.
Or I could talk about the joy of a baby born to an ordinary family at Christmas to transform the world; about how we need to value ordinary families and ensure that no child goes hungry, but I feel like I'm speaking into a void.
I could talk about the environment and how we're meant to be stewards of the world, caring for creation instead of taking everything we can for profit and greed.
Or I could talk about the power of online community and how people have met together to pray and learn and support each other.
There are so many things I could talk about but they all seem too big. I haven't formulated the words yet to go much beyond - what does Jesus say we should do?
But then I woke with the rhythm of the poem "The night before Christmas" going round my head and some of these thoughts started taking form in a new poem. As I worked on the poem I doodled about the word Christmas and a picture emerged, which with time lapse capture became a video. So I'm trusting that this is what I'm meant to share this Christmas, I hope it touches you and those you share it with.
May your Christmas be blessed and 2022 be a time of faithfulness, love and peace.
Click the image or link below to listen to me reading my poem whilst the drawing develops
'‘Twas the week before Christmas 2021 Poem
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the land
Nobody was daring to make solid plans
All of us longing to gather together
To heal the pain of being untethered
But our minds cast back to last year's separation
We can't face more cancelled celebrations
Throughout this year we've all of us faced
Challenges similar all over the place
Yet every morning the sun lights the sky
Reminding us all to keep our hopes high
To keep our eyes fixed on the message from God
A boy born on Earth, to teach how to love
Jesus knew, the pain of our lives
The grief and hurt, the struggle and strife
His repeated message was to care for all
Those in pain, the sick and the poor
Caring for Creation, as stewards of the Earth
Valuing everyone's integral worth
The last two years have taught us a lot
That what really matters is not what we've bought
But how we care for those on our street
The compassion we show for strangers we meet
Relationships matter, both near and far
Loving our neighbour the lowest of bar
This Christmas season, let's pause and breathe
Take time to thank God, for blessings received
Then turn our prayers out to the world
Asking what WE can do for young and for old
Let's look ahead with hope and purpose
Make 2022 one of the fairest