During these last few days especially I think we’ve been searching for that Prince of Peace. The light in the darkness that has clouded our nation and shrowded our hearts in pain. We see the photos on the news and choke down the sorrow of the hero’s stories. Social media has been flooded with the bright eyes of lives cut short. And everywhere we turn there is blame placed and calls for change ring out, though no realistic demands are made. And I wonder, what is it really that we can do? What can be done to prevent more premature angels from entering heaven’s gates?
Well, it’s Christmas, so let’s start there. We tend to get so caught up in the rhythem and motion of the season that I think we forget why we are really suposed to celebrate. And I’m no stranger to the mahem. I’ll admit that I get just as caught up as the next girl, and each year I tell myself that next year I’m going to do things different. Why? Because a baby changes everything. We are called to love, and not just those we want to-but possibly more specifically-those we don’t. We are called to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless, and on a superficial level that seems all very glamorous. One more volunteer idea to pad our resume and help us sleep better at night. But that’s not why we should do it. We are called most of all to serve, to love. To give of ourselves because the less of us there is, the more there is to love, and the more radiant we become. And radiance, like the twinkle of a Chrismas light, brings peace. Can you imagine what a difference it would make in our town, our society, our nation, our world, if we refused to focus on blame and instead focused on love. On bringing others peace when our own life is in turmoil. Isn’t that what the child in the manger did? Errupting the heavenly hosts in song and light? Calling the shephards to a meger stable, accepting the gifts of the poor and meke, while giving the greatest gift of all-his love. In this time of confusion and sorrow, when we cry out demanding to know where God is and why he has turned his back on us, because surely that must be what has happened in order for such tragedy to occure. I ask you, dear sister, to remember the babe. He could have had riches and power, but he chose to serve. He could have demanded our respect, but he chose to love. He could have ignored the children, but he held them instead. He dosen’t condone violence, but he does wipe the tears and help sew together the broken pieces. He has not left us, we have forgoten him, and how to find him. Because he is not found in the ribbon encompassing the wrapping paper. He is not present in the stockings hung by the chimney with care. He is not lingering in the garland and lights. He is found in the hand serving food to the poor, in the smile given to the stranger on the street. He is present in the joy of a child as they buy a create a gift for some one else, and the generosity that floods the home of a family adopted by strangers. He lingers in the halls of the nursing home, where volunteers share their holiday with the lonely. But most importantly, he lives in our spirit of service, and in our hearts of love.
So this year, as you wrap your presents and wipe your tears after the news. As the pregnancy test you prayed for is negative and your church is filled with glowing moms to be. As you grieve for the children and the innocent lost before every child’s favorite day, remember Mary. Remember her tears, shed not only for herself, but for the knowledge of what would come. Remember the gift that you have been given, the gift of love, and the beauty of it’s growth. Imagine the choir of angels and the splendor of the star. And I pray that as you enter this season, you find the peace that passes all understanding and the love that can save the world.
I was lost, but now I’m found. A baby changes everything….