Fourth Week of Advent

‘And is it true? And is it true?” These lines from John Betjeman’s wonderful poem on Christmas resonate somewhere in the hearts of all people who experience the Christmas story, either as believer or bystander. The glitter, the emotion, the reason for a family gathering and feast underlie the lingering desire for the story of the baby in the manager to be more than just a sentimental winter festival.

And is it true? And is it true?

The most tremendous tale of all …

A Baby in an ox’s stall?

The Maker of the stars and sea

become a Child on earth for me?

Christmas and all that is best in this feast speaks to the human condition like no other annual communal celebration. Despite the trials and sometimes agonies of the season, we want the story to be true, for it tells us something about God and everything about ourselves.

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