The marvelous Lowly Knights played in the Stiff Kitten the other night… I was delighted to be there – only a few feet away from the whole dozen of them – they number twelve like the twelve days. The music, the harmony, the love, the singing, the energy, the kindness, the enjoyment-shared onstage always warms the heart of any listener. They sing (harmoniously) about the question – where are you now Jesus? Personalising Mary at the Temple when the man of nazareth was a lost-barmitzvah-boy of Jerusalem, and the disciples wondering where the leader is – they then ask the question – where is he now? In fact, they make it personal – where are You now Jesus? Do you remember my name
It is a damn good question.
Today, myself and my dreadlocked housemate put up some decorations, made a wreath with holly-pricked fingers and put up the nativity. I hid Jesus. Is it an Irish thing? You’re not supposed to have the small incarnation in the crib until Christmas. Well, at least in Co. Cork, that’s the way things go. So, currently, my Oxfam-deity is sheltering in the warmth of a brass buddhist prayer-bowl – he will sleep until I come back form Midnight Mass on the night of the 24th.
After an anxious few days where I imagined a tension that wasn’t really there, I am left with questions about what to hope for people who are in real anxiety. Theirs is the question of the Lowly Knights. There is no kindness in hiding Jesus for them – I am struck with how he can sometimes seem lost to them.