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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, December 23, 2005

The Anti-Celebrity

The last days before Christmas seem swiftly to be passing (despite the local transit workers strike here- which thankfully seems to have been settled). Fewer and fewer hours to spend doing things which could have been done earlier, but never did get done.

My living room grew a small rectangular folding table sometime in November which has only once been off its legs in order to make room for a houseguest. The remainder of the time it has been populated by many, many small ceramic figures awaiting several coats of several colors of paint to transform them into personalized wonders before being gifted to various friends and parishioners. Feeling a bit better today I clamped the bright work lamp to the molded table, rummaged for my magnifying glasses and hit the switch. There they were.... lined up in steady row after row according to the figure. After a very long sigh and a look at the calendar I admitted defeat. Kept out two large figurines, but shuttled the others back in their craft drawer for next year. In their place I pulled out a stack of suncatchers in the shape of angels, doves, lit candles and crosses. These will take less time to paint.... and I'll include a suction cup w/hook to hang in a window or a golden hook so it can be hung from the bough of a Christmas tree- --. Yes, this will do.

I got out the paints, the brushes, got a cup of coffee, pulled all of my Christmas DVDs and tapes from their Christmas CD tower. Got all the remote controls. I sat down on the couch, Emmy Lou hopped up and laid down, leaning against me. We are in for the duration, Pumpkin girl I said, and clicked on the TV. Of course, it was on one of those stations I flip by..... but it caught my eye anyway.

It was E! or VH! or MTV..... one of them was going through its top 100 or 40 "best of"s for 2005. This was a round up of big spending hip-hop celebrities, up and comers and what one had to have in order to be anybody on that scene. Bling. Its all about Bling (for the rest of us, extravagant, showy jewelry involving precious metals and/or precious stones.) According to this report, a hip hop star shows he/she has made it by out-blinging the next one. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, rings, teeth, goblets, walking sticks.... all encrusted in gold and diamonds. All of these trinkets run from $8,000 to one or two million dollars. According to this show, everyone knows you are someone when you have this much money to spend on a luxury item.

Numb, I turned off the TV. My stomach was queasy. Three hundred thousand dollars for a watch.

Here I was getting prepared for a birthday... a birthday where I wouldn't present a single thing with a dollar value to the birthday boy. I'm not certain He'd accept it, 'though He would be thrilled if I could give food to someone homeless, or visit someone in prison, or befriend someone who was grieving.

The man would do miracles and even instruct people not to mention it to anyone! He hung out with a bunch of people, 'though they could hardly be considered a "posse" because not one of them was on his payroll. He didn't have 'bling'.... or an extensive wardrobe or a home (let alone five or ten). He was born behind a motel, back with the animals and the garbage. No agent, no manager, no recording contract, no multimovie deal, no multi year baseball contract. In fact, no contract ... a covenant. Nothing written in stone - yet written on the hearts and minds and lives of those who knew him and by learning - one by one - about him have loved Him through the years. He didn't crave the spotlight and to this day two thousand years later, we still write of Him, still know Him. The most famous anti-celebrity of recorded history.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Across the lands, across the seas, across the miles, across time. Happy Birthday!


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