from Saint Joseph School
....Hark! Laughter like a lion wakes
To roar to the resounding plain.
And the whole heaven shouts and shakes,
For God Himself is born again,
And we are little children walking
Through the snow and rain.
"The Wise Men" ~ G. K. Chesterton
It is easy to get caught up in shopping, overwhelmed by holiday parties, and short with our family while arguing over the particulars of festivities during the holidays. I know this because I seem to do that every year! If we are not mindful, Christmas can come and go leaving us exhausted rather than refreshed.
Amid the hustle and bustle, I hope we all find an opportunity to step back and slow down. I hope we make time to simply sit and talk with our children. Before and after the wrapping paper flys, let's talk about why we give presents at Christmas. Let's go beyond Jingle Bells to really listen to those Christmas songs. Let's talk about the great love wrapped up in the narrative of the Nativity - the storied Wise Men and Drummer Boy, a steadfast husband, an immeasurably strong young woman giving birth on the road far from home, and of the love so humble and true in God made man. Let's teach our children and remind ourselves that Advent tells us some of the greatest stories ever told. Then, in those thin moments where we are most honest with ourselves, I hope we remember the only present that really matters is this gift of Christmas.
Let's be sure not to miss it in the pile.
The House of Christmas
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.
This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.