December 14-B, 2022

Manger Scene 12/13/2022 Oil Paint Rendered — On our sideboard, in our cottage on the meadow, Charlotte, NC, Christmas 2022
This Crèche was molded, hand-painted, fired and constructed 
by my aunt, Lois Hamilton, in Itta Bena, Mississippi
in 1968 (+/-), and has been a part of our family ever since.


This only works if you do not take it literally.
The entire Bible works that way.
You have to see what you are looking at,
and know how to look at it
in order to see what is there.

In this way, it becomes a mirror
reflecting you to you,
reminding you of what's what,
and calling you to be about 
your business of living in ways
which announce the truth
at the heart of the cosmos
every day:

You are the Christ!
The Anointed One!
Come to exhibit your particular version
of the light that is in everyone,
and to be a living reminder 
to us all
that we all are different aspects
of the same reality,
sacraments of the Holy,
visible, tangible, physical expressions
of an invisible, inexplicable, inexpressible reality
("An outward, visible, sign
of an inward, spiritual, grace").

You are the Bebê Jesus
wrapped in swaddling cloths,
lying in a manger--
as are the wise men and shepherds,
mother and father--
gathered to acknowledge 
yet another miracle coming forth
as the actualization of the ephemeral--
the incarnation of the ineffable--
the unveiling-yet-veiling 
of the Spirit within time and space!

If you don't know that the Bebê Jesus is you,
is each of us,
is all of us--
the Mover coming out as the Moved--
if we don't know that,
embrace that,
act it out in each situation as it arises,
the miracle is wasted on us,
and the wonder is lost
amid the wasteland of forgotten lineage
and discarded treasure,
thrown aside 
by those who do not know who they are.

Yet, who, 
every year, 
bring out the Crèche,
and miss the point again,
that the One Who Is To Come
is already here
in the form of those who sit
waiting for Godot.



Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

One thought on “December 14-B, 2022

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