Advent: Year B: Litany for Real Christmas

God, we can wait our whole lives for it to look like Christmas.
We can rely on tinsel and twinkle lights;
We can conjure up nostalgia with cookies;
We can spray cans of snow on trees;
We can fill stockings with miscellany;
    We think we can buy Christmas.

But this is what real Christmas looks like:
Mother laboring in a barn;
Babe in manger, sticky from birth;
Exhaustion, and milk-drunk sleep;
Stink of cattle, dung, and hay;
Starlight shining on crisp plains.

And the lingering question:
What do we do now?
Now that the world has become quiet
Now that everything is changed,
Now that we have seen a Great Light
Now that we have Wonder?

Christmas is sweaty work
And joyful
A long push
And glorious
Traveler’s grit
And graceful.

Christmas is subtle things reverberating
Past, present, future re-made.
Christmas is small things making meaning.
Hopeful waiting and arrival.
Christmas is homeless finding refuge ...

That is the Gloria the angels sing.