A holy and happy Christmas to you all. Somewhat too economically I offer you the online card I have just uploaded for the abbey website as my Christmas greeting to you all. It’s a busy day for monks, so some economizing on time has been necessary. If it is a little more generic than personal, the sentiment is no less sincere for that. You will all be remembered at Mass tonight.
Robert and Daniel together make up the design team Mr Kaplin, based in London. They have produced a simple, short, and poignant little animation for Christmas. It is less than 90 seconds. Watch it now, and then read on here…
It is not clear whether these two lads are Christian, but the animation they have created has far more of the Christian message in it than we might hear in many churches. Reducing Christmas to the Christ-child bound in swaddling cloths in a manger is wonderful for children, but by the time we have hit the teens we are ready for the deeper message of Christmas: that God became man in Jesus Christ precisely in order to take upon himself what ails us: the human burden of sin, selfishness and death. In fact, Jesus was born to die for us; but he died that he might rise anew, and us with him.
Christmas becomes a little harder each year. As we, even monks, have treats and good things aplenty, so it seems to become more insistent in one’s consciousness that there are those who do not; that there are those for whom Christmas means not light but darkness.
This Christmas, if you can do one thing only, please try to bring a little light to someone’s darkness, however small that chink of light, however great the darkness in which it seeks to shine. If you ask Christ to bless it, it will shine brighter than any star for those who have eyes to see.
May the Lord lighten their darkness, and give them joy to balance their affliction.
(You might consider, for example, supporting Stephen’s Marython… just a thought. 🙂 )