Christmas is the ultimate irony, isn’t it?
Christmas – the birthday of Christian history, two thousand years ago. And that world was so full of horror.
An occupied country…
a king so desperate to hold on to his crown that he ordered the slaughter of all male babies on the strength of the rumour that a new king had been born. Has anything changed when we consider the lengths some people in power will go, to materialise their misguided beliefs that they can control ‘their’ worlds to be what they want?
A mandatory government edict…
dictating that everyone had to go back to the place of their birth, for the convenience of undertaking a census. Who knows why? At least today, we can put our fingers on the causes of most mass migration. But this seems so arbitrary. (Historians, let us know if you know why.)
The sheer inconvenience of the whole exercise…
like everyone having to get home for Christmas.
A TV-news image has just flashed into my mind: an Afro-American young man stuck in an American airport, going no-where because of the disruption of a massive freeze that has blown in from the Arctic. He has to get home to Atlanta for Christmas. But why? Because the family is getting together. But why now? Why is Christmas the hidden but compulsive census?
When the pregnant Mary and her ‘partner’ Joseph arrive at their destination, dutifully fulfilling the census edict, behold – there is no home for them! Now there’s a lovely irony, ordered to go home, they become homeless!
Surely the irony of this cannot be lost on us today: does wealthy Australia have enough places for the refugees on our doorstep – no? – all the more reason to let them languish in detention centres, either here or, even more out of sight, in the neighbouring countries we bribe, because they have nowhere to go. Could empty office blocks, now surplus to requirement because COVID has taught us how to work remotely, be the stables out the back we might offer? Or is that just too commercially hard?
And isn’t it ironical that at least former governments have been willing to splash out any amount of cash to do anything but the obvious right thing? Let’s hope that’s changing!
Meanwhile, the country folks are treated to some fine singing by visiting celestial choristers. Out in the sheep fields these folk are so disenfranchised they are not allowed to vote. The light-show seems to have bypassed the usual city venues. ‘Peace on earth..’ is the concert theme.
But why do they, the smelly outsiders, get the front row seats? Could it be that only they would understand? Could it be that the skyscraper kings do not have the capacity to get into the music, that they just don’t understand the song, that they have disqualified themselves from participating in a way forward for the creation?
Oh, the irony! The way forward has everything to do with a baby.