After several years collecting, we now have a sufficient ‘throng’ of angels to completely decorate a sizeable tree with only angels and a string of LED lights. Both Pam and I were delighted with the appearance of the tree, and we felt that our tree thus celebrated a particularly wonderful part of the Christmas story. Such delight felt to merit a poem which follows. I struggled with the wording of the third verse for some time but then realised that by using the concept of the branches pointing us to the battlefields of the world, the beautiful conical form of the tree did quite literally point all over the world beyond our home and with more than 30 wars going on, many in places we could not readily identify, the idea had an unexpected relevance. I hope the wording might prompt you to follow the suggestions of the last verse. (And maybe some of you might consider the notion of an Angel tree: to have such a display in a church or chapel would fuse the yuletide celebrations with the incarnation’s pronouncement by angels)
O Christmas Tree, with Angel Throng
O Christmas tree with angel throng
remind us of that awesome night
when hardened hillside shepherds quailed
beneath the skies, ablaze with light.
O tree, your lights like stars that flecked
the dark cold skies upon the hills,
stir up fresh hope, the angel song
might be Earth’s future - ‘Peace for all’.
O tree, whose branches quietly grew
taking their shape so gracefully
point us to all war-wearied folk
longing for such harmony.
Come then, and pray, ‘Convict their leaders,
that repugnant warring claims
bring nobody joy nor gladness’.
Only peace can meet those aims.
This poem is also a part of the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany collection on The Cross and Cosmos. You will find the collection HERE
When Christmas is over, at the start of the New Year there will be a further post with an idea of how an ANGEL TREE could add a new dimension to Christmas church life/ Christmas services.