A Penthouse or a Stable?

They have all come,
either summoned or seeking an audience.

In and out of Trump Tower,
the rich, the powerful, the celebrities,
have come to see the one who will be president.

That penthouse is the place
where deals are struck,
appointments are made,
and the good news is proclaimed
(in missives of 140 characters or less).

It makes sense, really.
Power goes to power.

And since power rises to the top,
to the top you must go.

That’s what the Magi figured as well.

There is a new born king,
so go to the top.

Go to Jerusalem,
and inquire of the royal household.

But that is not where the king was born.

No, this king was in a house built for animals.

This king was born amongst the beasts,
in the shit, not surrounded by gold,
in a feeding trough, not a feather bed.

This was no reality tv ‘star’,
but a star led the way to this humble king, nonetheless.

A portent of the heavens,
not a sordid career of deals and money-grabbing.

And rather than twitter,
this king-in-the-stable
has angels proclaiming his arrival.

And rather than the rich and powerful attending to him,
he is welcomed by shepherds,
poor labourers at the bottom end of the empire.

And when the rich and powerful hear of this king-in-the-stable,
the security forces are sent out,
not to protect,
but to kill.

And yet, this king will not break a bruised reed,
nor snuff out a burning wick.

This king comes to bring justice and equity
for the oppressed and impoverished.

This king comes not on high,
not from a penthouse,
but from below,
born of peasant parents.

And this king is good news.

Happy Christmas, dear friends.

(this meditation was inspired by an email from Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, the President of the Seminary Coalition for Urban Pastoral Education)

Brian Walsh
Brian is an activist theologian and the CRC Campus Minister at the University of Toronto. He engages issues of theology and culture, and has written a couple of books you might want to check out. His most recent offering is entitled Kicking at the Darkness: Bruce Cockburn and the Christian Imagination.

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