By Ken Woodley
’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring…Well, maybe a mouse.
Some stockings were hung. Others were not. Some wondered if Christmas would find every spot.
The pandemic still spread its worrying concern, challenging us to find lessons to learn.
To treasure the moments that all of us share. To help and to heal. To reach out with care.
We were thinking of family and thinking of friends, praying that COVID would soon come to an end.
When up on the hillside there arose such a noise: angels and shepherds all singing of joys.
A child has been born, they sang with a smile, and we were determined to walk every mile.
Away toward that manger, through rain, sleet and snow, as if there were no place that we’d rather go.
We were six feet apart and all wore our mask. We were ready for whatever our savior might ask.
The moon hung like an ornament high up in the sky, but a star shone far brighter and seemed so nearby.
The lion was ready to lay with the lamb, if we’d just believe in God’s holy plan.
Closer we came to the manger scene now, immune to our fears in some way and some how.
There wasn’t a wise man, no, nowhere in sight, just ordinary folks feeling love’s holy might.
There was no barn and no stable, no building at all, but the child still within us did answer the call.
The babe in the manger would find shelter here, in our hearts, in our souls whenever we care
For others who hurt, for others in pain, and give of ourselves, with nothing to gain.
Turning our cheek when the anguish is ours so a field full of thorns can blossoms with flowers.
No room at the inn but room inside us who give birth to a message we know we can trust.
In the love Jesus promised God has for us all, whether we stand, stumble or fall.
For black and white and red and brown, for all the colors in between. We are pigments of God’s imagination, of God’s great love dream.
No virus can touch it. No, none can come close. This love is a spirit, no Halloween ghost.
This great truth will cover the Earth, a gift we unwrap through this sacred birth.
Away in that manger, no crib for a bed, but born every day in our footsteps, instead.
By Ken Woodley