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Deeper Wisdom at Christmas

Deeper Wisdom at Christmas

Christmas is a mixed bag for many people. Joyful if there is health and happiness in the home, with resources to nourish generosity and resonant connections to nourish the heart.

And if there is illness, or poverty, or loneliness, the contrast of an idealized Christmas with reality can be a reminder of suffering and lack.

Two Christmas offerings that keep the dark and the light together in the mind – the well-known “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Written in 1863, the darkest hour of the Civil War in America. And a very contemporary, wise, and realistic Christmas Carol by Larry Robinson

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A Christmas Carol

Away in a manger
or a crack house
or under a bridge
or in a bombed-out village
or a refugee camp
or in the mesquite shade close to the border wall some Mary is giving birth.

Even as you read this
a child is being born.

What if one of these were the promised one, the beacon of hope, the seed of a new light in a dark time?

What if they all were?
What gifts would you bring
if you were wise?
– Larry Robinson

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