This child sleeping in the night

The scene is set, the stage is lit, the actors ready; the baby boy is real, quiet and still. The music plays, the angels sing, the cameras roll.

Do you see what I see?

Mary tries really hard not to drop her new baby. But he’s getting heavy and he’s quite big. Standing next to her, Joseph puts a strong arm around her shoulder. They smile at the little one. But Mary’s arms are aching; she tightens her grip around him but she’s not tried to cuddle a baby before. She’s only twelve. Maybe she’s not holding him quite right. Perhaps, if she’d been sitting down instead of standing . . .

The angels are still singing. How long will it be? She can’t hold him much longer. It’s no good. She leans forward and drops him down – hard – in the cradle. She bends her face close. Will he be all right? He’s not crying. No, he’s fine.

Enter wise and noble strangers from the East. They kneel with their gifts.

Do you know what I know? A child shivers in the cold.
Let us bring him silver and gold.

The angelic choir in beautiful harmony :

a song, a song high above the tree, with a voice as big as the sea.

The baby’s asleep, at least he’s not stirring, does not seem fazed by the bright lights and the cameras.

He will bring us goodness and light.

Shepherds kneeling, attentive, absorbed in the mystery.

Do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, little lamb. A star, dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite.

A triumphal conclusion, the music swells:

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light.

Nov 2012