There is a crack, a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen, Anthem
“Why do you hate the baby Jesus?”
A very nice woman from my Catholic parish raised her hand after my presentation. It wasn’t the sort of question I had hoped for after spending a couple of hours in a crowded parish hall talking about the liturgical year. I thought I had made the point that Christmas was about so much more — that the “walking / talking Jesus” needed to be part of our Christmas Eve celebration, that the passion, the death and resurrection of Jesus were with us that holy night too, as we prayed the Eucharistic prayer. But maybe she was on to something. I really did have a problem with the baby Jesus, or more to the point, with the kind of sentimental Christianity that is more comfortable with a helpless babe than with a grown man talking about how we are called to treat the poor. My favorite image for Christmas in those days was of God crashing into our world, leaving broken pieces and shards of reality, making a mess of our assumptions and comfortable habits.