A Child (28.12.21)
A Child by Sarah Clarke
Writer, documenting twin mum life as @disastersofathirtysomething on Instagram
I'm a grown up. I've paid parking fines (more than l'd like to admit). Mused over wine lists (second cheapest, am I right?). Owned houseplants (RIP). Asked to speak to the manager (to my shame). l've been dull and haughty and careless and rushed and self-important and busy and tired.
Yet, at Christmas, I become a child again. Perhaps you too? I delight in twinkling lights and familiar carols. I eat mini chocolate angels for breakfast. I get giddy about gifts. I get giddy about the vaguest possibility of snow. I want to wear my sparkliest dress and shiniest shoes to church. I delight in the nativity story. My wide-eyed innocent joy is reawakened every December.
And, of course, it makes sense that we take on a child-like quality in this season. We're in good company: the God of the universe did it, too.
Reading: Matthew 18:1-5
At that time the disciples come to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a child, whom he put among them, and said Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'
There's a simplicity to the way children interact with each other, and the world around them. They aren't deceitful or duplicitous. They say what they mean. And they ask for what they really want.
Little children don't 'network' at Christmas parties, preoccupied with rank and Influence … they have fun with the people they love. Children don't shake their head solemnly 'no thanks' at the mince pies passed around on trays, thinking of the fat content they receive with joy. Children don't hold grudges … they live in the authenticity and freedom of the 'now'.
And children see beyond differences. Differences of opinion, of appearance, of politics, of background. So it's no wonder Jesus said to become (in the words of The Message version of the Bible) 'simple and elemental again' like a child, if those 'elements' are joy, love, trust, wonder and hope.
Is there a tradition you can bring back from your childhood this Christmas?
Something that makes you feel the wonderful, supernatural enormity of what this season is about?
This Child, secretly comes in the night