The 5th Day of Christmas and the shining Dove still sits on a branch of the Christmas Tree. David and Linda placed him there with love, and during the weeks leading up to Christmas hundreds of local school children have gazed up at him and his companion, oh yes there is another, birds, like people love a companion.
Sadly, many people have been alone this Christmas Tide, some having lost their companion through bereavement, some because love has fled the nest. Some have had no nest to spend the holidays in; a cold doorway, a cold street, has been their lot, or maybe if lucky, a Christmas meal provided in the true spirit of Christmas by the warm generosity of willing, cheerful volunteers at a hostel, church, community centre.
Down in the garden, on a snowy day there is another bird, still singing, he rarely goes away, he enjoys the red berries on the Holly Bush, but his favourite berry is the small, white, sticky berry of the Mistletoe from which he gets his name, Mistle Thrush. He doesn’t ask a lot in exchange for his song, he is a generous giver, and his Christmas Carol will soon be replaced by a song for Epiphany and New Year. St Giles has a special service of Carols and hymns for Epiphany on the 7th January this year, and there is one Carol we often sing, the third verse always speaks to my heart.
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.
(Eleanor Farjeon 1881-1965)
May it be so, for all, may Love, the Bird find his way to our homes, and hearts this winter tide, may it be that where the water and wings are frozen; love may break the ice, and 2018 come with Good Tidings to all people everywhere, with new friendships for the lonely, a home for the homeless, provision for the poor, healing for the sick, on the wings of love may we all fly.