Sunday, December 24, 2006

Rewind to a manger

Now obsolete audio and video tape technology has given the language a transforming one-word metaphor: Rewind.

On this Christmas Day, I'd like a spiritual, historical rewinding.

Rewind the tape 2000 years.

Rewind Christianity, past the wars, past the Middle East, past Northern Ireland. Go past preachers, pastors and popes. Past saints, bishops and cardinals.

Past schisms, sects and denominations.

Past works, good and bad. Past charity. Past devotion. Past hypocrisy. Past hatred.

Past dogma and ritual, sin and salvation.

Roll on past Salem and witch burnings, Indulgences and The Inquisition. Rewind by Meister Eckhart and Saint Francis, past the Crusades, past martyrs, past Paul and Peter, and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and Thomas.

Go past The Resurrection and The Crucifixion, The Stations of The Cross and the Last Supper.

Leave behind the miracles and metaphors, the Sermon on the Mount and the parables on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Roll past the shepherds, the Wise Men and the guiding star.

Roll past them all.


Stop at the manger in Bethlehem.

Pause on a frozen frame.

Pause and be still.

Wait and prepare to witness.

Press "play."

Watch —watch closely— what happens.

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