This first, and western Feast Day of Christmas arrives with much splendour and exuberance in much of the world. There will be music, dancing, presents, food, drink, more food, and much celebration. It is the celebration of the coming of Christ. The Christian high feast of feasts.
Indeed, most of the civilized and advanced world is precisely where you find this fun, wonderful and holy season celebrated. Is that a coincidence?
I think not, but that is the stuff of a more substantial and less festive post!
Sufficed to say that on this evening approaching us, known as Christmas Eve or Holy Night, there will be hundreds of millions submitting in humble worship. Many more signing traditional songs for all to hear; some in cathedrals, others on frosty street corners.
There will be cups of good cheer lifted to toast old friends and family present, and those that have gone before.
There will be many decent souls out braving the cold and away from their own people, just to make sure that the less fortunate among them can have a meal and spend some relaxing moments over Christmas.
There will be countless little children climbing into bed wondering what a little parental magic and general good behaviour may result in them finding under their trees or in a stocking. That is to say, they await old St Nicholas on his yearly trip to give them a gift simply for being a good kid.
Many wonderful, magical moments are coming upon us.
Then there will be the others.
Those not so fortunate, but no less deserving of a Christmas.
The lonely, the abject, the poor, the horribly oppressed, the very ill, the dying.
Those people who cannot or will not be reached on Holy Night.
We have all been there or near it. Many of us will be again.
We must not forget them. He will not.
May they find happiness again, may their Christmases once again become bright.
For all of us, for today, and for this evening I submit a work of peace. An ode to serenity and meaningfulness.
An offering to God from his children by the way of art.
Incense for the saints in the form of song; to celebrate the coming of a King.