Tuesday, December 25, 2007


It’s the season when the poor feel poorer
and the lonely feel lonelier than in any other time.
It’s a time when all the sentiments of the human heart
seem to be participating to the maximum.
The big mysteries of man’s paradoxical existence
attack people with even a greater confusion.
I have been celebrating Christmas for the past twenty
years or so away from my home country, mostly
in areas where Christmas is not really seen in the daily life.
In many of these places I have felt that it is my holy duty
to introduce the old fashioned, undefiled tradition
of Christmas before the craziness of the money-made
Christmas comes in.
In Baku we translated the first ever existing Christmas Carols into
the Azeri language. Our first Christmas musical in Azeri was called
In Samarkand we covered the floor of our meeting place in Manna
with chaff and continued singing Jingle Bells until we had no more
strength nor voice to sing.
This year in Istanbul I finally learned my first Christmas song
in Italian, just for the fun of it. Tu scendi dalle stelle…
This is our celebration.
Happy memories, precious indeed.
We can only imagine what the first Christmas was like.
It was probably not so romantic as it often is pictured.
I’m sure it was much more dramatic than the ever so stable
nativity scene makes up.
It was a real night, real manger, real animals and real obstacles.
This is a good time to remind ourselves together with others
that Jesus is not some never-existed
fairytale figure whom religious people invented as an escape
from reality. We count our years from his birthday!
I wonder how many more will still be counted till we see His face.

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