I so love this time of year. It comes with bright lights, warmth and the promise of innocence and love. It comes with the humility of an innocent child, vulnerable, helpless, simple and dependent. The Christ child comes to us with beauty of total love. Ann Weems sums it up for me in her poem: Unexpected from Kneeling in Bethlehem.
Even now we simply do not expect to find a deity in a stable.
Somehow the setting is all wrong:
The swaddling clothes too plain,
The manger too common for the likes of a Savior,
The straw inelegant,
The animals, reeking and noisy,
The whole scene too ordinary for our taste
And the cast of characters is no better;
With the possible exception of the kings,
Who among them is fit for tis night?
The shepherd? Certainly too crude,
The carpenter too rough,
The girl too young.
And the baby
Whoever expected a baby?
Whoever expected the advent of God in a helpless child?
Had the Messiah arrived in the blazing light of the glory
Of a legion of angels wielding golden swords,
The whole world could have been conquered for Christ
Right then and there
And we in the church-to say nothing of the world!
Wouldn’t have so much trouble today.
Even now we simply do not expect to face the world armed with love.
And yet love is the only answer. Perhaps we can come before this God of ours because he came as an innocent child, open and vulnerable to our humanity. We have a God who loves us in our messiness and complexities- a condition that Jesus shared with us. We have a God who loves us just as we are, straggled, poor, dirty and sinful. WE have a God in his innocence who longs for us to know and be known.
Let us rejoice, for the greatest miracle is that God chose to be a human with us. To know all that we experience and all that we are, with our brokenness and greatness.