Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Thoughts from my Pastor

The Angel's Story

Look!  Just look at it all!  A baby born next to animals in a manger.  His parents cold, exhausted and confused.  The animals just as disoriented.  A displaced donkey stumbles out of the hay and knocks over the water barrel.  He licks up water from the swaddling clothes and drools over the baby.  Joseph, startled by the spilled water, jumps over the bed and gets mud on the baby.  And Mary screams at him and calls him – oh! That wasn’t very nice!   And now the baby cries. 

Isn’t it all so precious?

It feels like such pandemonium for them.  The trials and the mishaps.  The tension and fear.  The anxiety around what is to come.  They wipe the sweat from their brow and wonder when it will all turn out okay.  When will these challenges end and their blessings begin? 

They’ve known so much pain.  Pain which turns to fear.  Fear which becomes worry.  Worry which darkens their days.  They try to run.  To fill their lives with wonder, but settle for worry.  Seek hope but live with regret.  Look for connection but allow only protective isolation.  So distracted by the noise and activity of their efforts, they rarely notice the choir of angels singing all around them. 

How will they re-imagine their lives?  Understand that even within the darkness, a new world is waiting to be born.  That light is found first within.  To be shared among and then carried beyond.  All are chosen.  All are special.  All, no matter what hurts they carry, or the hardships they harbor, are offered everything they need to fashion their own redemption.  To build from their brokenness, some hope.  From fear and doubt, come love.

Such is the work of a child.  To remind the world of the possibility standing before everyone.    To refuel the instinct to care.  So that each person may rise above his or her pain and hear a deeper call.  That love, everyday, is born and springs forth in innocence and naiveté in the hungry dark.  That it can rise out of even the most hardened heart, and by way of courage and conviction, take that long journey toward hope.  To stand as warmth and light in a cold and dark world.

The world will never be without conflict or calamity.  Darkness will forever be upon the land. 

The good news that is born here this day is the reminder that from each life some light can shine.  And from such light, a world can begin to see.  If, in all their fretting and fear, they never arrive at such truth, then it is all spilt water and donkey drool.   

How different it can be.  For born within you this day, is a savior.  And in your hands lay a new life.  And from your courage, a new world.

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