"Bring out your crèche"
By: Michele Schremp '21
Bring out your crèche. Bring out the docile oxen, the purest lambs, the noble donkey. Bring out the shepherds, with their silent, curious flock. (They followed the angel, followed the brightest star in the sky to this place) Bring out the three wise men, clothed in finery and gold. Bring out the angel, stationed forever on the rooftop. (The first carol, Gloria in Excelsis Deo!) Bring out the manger, with soft straw to be as good a crib as any. Scoff at the innkeeper, so foolish as to deny the Lord a room. So blind, ignorant, was he.
For who would deny the radiant, red-cheeked babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, Attended by a pair of snow-white lambs. A mother, so serene. A father, strong and tall and wise. Place the figurines, so perfect and pure in their plastic, arrange them just so, and shake your head. Who would dare to leave them out in the cold?
Consider. Two scared wanderers. So far from home. The baby is screaming. The mother, barely on her feet. A father, frantic and young. So young. Who would throw open their doors? Poor Yosef. Poor Mariam. The innkeeper, wise is he, in his business of repute, “turn your travel-dust-clad feet back into the street” You scared, friendless children. The baby cries. And cries. Cries the first Christmas carol into the single-starred Bethlehem night. Tomorrow, he shall be enthroned on a donkey’s back. Running for safety in a world which denies, sneers, and denies.
So bring out the crèche. Fill every crevice of the kitchen with gingerbread. Light every candle in your lonely window panes. But as you hang the star on your hard-won fir Do not ignore the pounding at your door. Do not step away from the tired band that stands on your stoop. Do not point to the next house down. Because as you recoil, I promise you’ll forget That you yourself once agreed, Bethlehem’s star hangs in your front hall.