Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Star Giving - Ann Weems

We have a tradition of reading this Ann Weems poem each Christmas Eve, usually by a very young child.

It speaks so beautifully to the meaning of that night and of the season. Especially in the voice of a child, it gives a glimpse (if just for a moment) of how we would want all of our children to approach the season - focusing on gifts of love for one another and for the world.

What I’d really like to give you for Christmas is a star…

Brilliance in a package,
            something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans
            or in the pocket of your being.
Something to take out in times of darkness,
            something that would never snuff out or tarnish,
            something you could hold in your hand,
            something for wonderment,
            something for pondering,
            something that would remind you of
            what Christmas has always meant:
            God’s Advent Light into the darkness of this world.
But stars are only God’s for giving,
            and I must be content to give you words and wishes
            and packages without stars.
But I can wish you life
            as radiant as the Star
            that announces the Christ Child’s coming,
            and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood beneath its light.
And I can pass on to you the love
            that has been given to me,
            ignited countless times by others
            who have knelt in Bethlehem’s light.
Perhaps, if you ask, God will give you a star.

Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem, The Westminster Press, 1980.

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