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Devotion: Christmas is Waiting

This devotion was shared by NLC soprano Kate Tripoli prior to rehearsal on November 4, 2014. 


Christmas is waiting to happen.
outside, a vacant hillside
lies silent, strangely empty
of any angel’s choir.
a stable waits
for bookings at the inn to multiply.
distant Kings study charts
and keep gifts in cold storage,
while shepherds plan their memoirs
in expectancy of unexpected fame
and keep a chapter free
for miracles...
a small velvet patch
in the black night sky
stands ready to hold a newborn star,
and oppressed peoples everywhere
cling wildly to prophecy and song,
and whisper the word: messiah.
they’ve switched on the lights
in Oxford Street,
counting off the buying days
like Guardsmen on parade
shops are stocked and standing by
revving up the engines
of their debt-powered
swiping machines
and history watchers
mark another year
to start the slow march to 3000
but here, an old man lies
in the hallway
where he fell three days ago
and no-one knows.
and here a young girl loiters
in the streetlight’s unholy halo
to sell the only thing she owns
that men will pay for
and here an infant sleeps
on a sack on the hard earth floor
where even a mother’s hand
is empty...
…and there are places where Christmas
is still waiting to happen

-- Gerard Kelly