Looking for My Christmas Story

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and presumably they were not

in the process of making a baby.

Yes, there’s a baby in the story,

and not an insignificant baby,

but that part comes much later,

and is almost beside the point,

or merely a means to an end;

Christ’s impressive words and acts

appear long after his infancy.

Granted, I get the choice of a child—

I mean, present most people with a baby,

and within seconds they’re gawking and cooing—

but in this case I wonder if it

also makes them miss the point,

the symbol, the underlying meaning;

not just the delivery of a baby,

not even merely and infant Messiah,

but the dawning of hope and light,

and ideally a better nature

within all of humankind.

Of course, I’ve nothing against babies,

having been one for a while myself;

it’s just that for some of us today

(I cite myself as one example,

the baby symbolism’s right up there

with sheep and camel metaphors

in terms of relevance to our everyday lives.

I do not discount the baby story

with its appeal to so many,

nor do I critique the gawkers and cooers,

and like so many other Christians,

whether practicing or not,

I’ve placed ceramic Nativity figures

on my living-room mantelpiece

and consider myself a believer,

but sometimes I feel a bit left out,

feel that the story overwhelms

the message it’s intended to convey,

the light and hope encompassing everyone;

or maybe it’s just the gloomy afternoon.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper


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