Advent 2020 #16: Hip to be Square

I’ve been very busy at the sewing machine since the last post. Unfortunately, the cardinal pin cushion has progressed no further. Instead I’ve realised that square cushions are better. Why work with hexagons when you can use shapes with right angles in them?

The current state of my hexagons says it all. Why did I not think of squares earlier?

It did make me think of the phrase “hip to be square” and the way that Christianity is represented in contemporary society: dangerous at worst, weirdo at best.

If they’re not seen as self-righteous or hypocrites then Christians are ‘squares’. They have this little nativity story that they trot out once a year which gives parents an excuse to dress small children up as shepherds and angels… or donkeys. Then there’s the petting farms – at the community carols that go the extra mile – in an attempt to recreate the manger vibe.

It’s all very cute and ‘fun for the kids’. But if you’re still talking about it when you’re an adult you’re frankly a little odd… or delusional… or cutesy yourself.

Or so the western world says. Yet as for my cushions, so with the nativity.

Currently those cushions are empty and even when they are filled with beans, they’ll just be Christmas bling bean bags: a pleasant little addition to your mantle piece or similar.

But Christmas has a lot more depth to it than that. Consider the lyrics from Cory Asbury’s song, Reckless Love:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending
Reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down
Fights ’til I’m found

Reckless love: there’s nothing cutesy or kiddie about that. It’s raw and it’s real. And it’s chasing after you: all the way from heaven down to earth.

That’s Christmas: and there’s nothing square or juvenile about it. It’s a grown up Christmas list.

Yours in working right angles,


Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

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