Where now is your God
of wrath and rage
Your retributive idol?
There is no fire in the sweet breath
Of this baby
His skin has the smell of milk
Not malice
He does not growl
He gurgles
His eyes seek out
His mother’s face
They are not searching
For your faults and failings

This star that lights the stable
Has been sent
To shine in your shadows
Not to show the world
Your shame

There is no anger in the angle
Of these angels alighting
No fight in their flight
They sing of peace
Not punishment
“Be astounded”, they say
“Be amazed
But do not be afraid”
For this is love
This is mercy
God is of your kind
And this is kindness

This child
Whose swaddling cloths
Are soaked now, and soiled
Who reeks to high heaven
Of the functions of earth
This burping baby
blowing bubbles
This is how your Father
Shows his face

Gerard Kelly