Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent 4: Assessing the (con)Census

(partial re-post)

“Are you ready for Christmas?” each clerk said as we stepped up to the register. “I am, but it really has nothing to do with what I’m doing here.”
Christmas will come and be accomplished regardless of who’s ready and watching. We’re all running around here signing our names at counters, registering our numbers, showing our IDs, being vouched for by banks, being approved and accounted for, like we’re a part of some kind of census or something. Rushing, no room in the parking lots, bustling, indulging - while quietly, behind the scenes, back in the service corridors, a young woman, tired from the bustling and bursting with abundant life, lies down to birth the new world.
If the musak were drowned out by a million angelic voices, and an invitation was issued over the mall speaker system, “to you is born in the service corridors… you will find the babe wrapped in discarded tissue paper and lying in a shipping crate…”, I really don’t know if we would hear. If we did, would we leave our shopping bags unattended in the primary hallways, and make haste to the cluttered mall alleys? Or would we clutch our plunder and say, “I’m sorry, it’s Christmas, I haven’t time to look at a baby born in the service corridor.” Time’s a-wasting.”