Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Tree of Life, Gift of Love OR Christmas, Nurturing a Sense of Inclusion


It’s easy to get downhearted because Christmas seems to be all about finding money we don’t have for presents, cards, stocking our cupboards with assorted goodies etc.

Then something happens to make us think again and give us (and Christmas) a new lease of life...

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Son of God or no, Jesus was a Man for all Seasons. Whatever our religion or non-religion, should we not always try to celebrate the spirituality we give and take from it in our everyday lives, preferably in a spirit of peace and love, no matter what or where or who?

Some Christians, for example -  even clerics -  reject gay people (including family members) because they interpret the Bible as telling them to do so. The Bible, perhaps, not Jesus. The God of the Old Testament is all but made redundant by the New. Jesus taught that God is no God of vengeance and intolerance, but the very opposite. If I were a Christian or subscribed to any religion, there is no way I would believe God is a homophobe. Thankfully, for humanity's sake, there are many Christians and other religious-minded people who feel the same.

As I have said before (being of a repetitive nature) our differences don't make us different, only human. Take the humanity out of religion and all the ritual and prayers become pointless.


I found a Christmas tree
discarded in the street,
some of its branches cut away,
the rest looking shabby
(to say the least) needles already
turning shades of brown
like crumbs of toast, a sorry
specimen indeed, and few
passers-by would have spared
a glance, but something
in me responded to that tree
so I bent down, picked
it up, took it home, placed it
in a tub of earth and recall
thinking, oh, how good it was
to restore a sense of dignity
to the spirit of a sad little tree
that, surely, would die,
yet not without playing a part
of sorts in Christmas,
even with someone like me,
hardly the smiling face
of joyous festivity!
I found two dusty baubles,
some sad-looking tinsel
and a lopsided star...
Even so, it seemed to me
the little tree took on
an positive air of triumph,
and celebration, things
 I’d much preferred to forget
at this time of year

By the 25th, it had taken root,
a sight for sore eyes indeed,
one I felt a need to share, 
with a joy and pride felt before, yes,
but never quite like this feeling
for - Christmas

Copyright R. N. Taber 2004; 2016

[Note: This poem first appeared under the title 'A Feeling for Christmas' in A Feeling For The Quickness Of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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