One week from Christmas 2015 it us time for me to post my final reflection for this year. A big thank you to all who have stayed with Another Voice for these past twelve months. Right now I plan to resume after Epiphany. If I find I really have nothing worthwhile to say, I will pull the plug on my computer.
My original inspiration came from T. S. Eliot: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.”
Too many church people (like many presidential candidates) spent far too much time regurgitating last year’s language. We learn from the past but we don’t live there. And……wanting to live in the past is a very contemporary problem.
More reflections, I hope, in 2016.
For today a final reflection, once again, from my favorite poet T. S. Eliot and his “Journey of the Magi.”
The journey of the magi, you see, is not just a pious legend from the past. It is your story and mine…..
Merry Christmas and every good wish for the New Year!
“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.