"Why is Christmas so special, Mom?" I hear from the back seat for the eleventh time. (Charlie Brown isn't the only one trying to get to the bottom of all this hubbub!). We trace our recent conversations back to the manger. We chat about how in order for St. Nick to have gotten to be so special, we know he must have loved Jesus an awful lot and was doing his best to be thinking of others like Jesus did.
I hold back on my incarnation chat and Paul Harvey's story of The Man and the Birds for when she's older. I feel simultaneously tongue-tied, attempting to weigh my word choices carefully enough for her growing mind to absorb, while needing to brace my mama's heart that has just been asked the question that gives meaning to everything, by my baby!
The gist of this talk turned out to be concise enough that we were both satisfied: God has always loved people more than we can understand, but Jesus being born in a manger helped people to touch God, and at the same time to believe that God wanted to be close enough to touch them, too.
How appropriate that the final week of Advent is, love!
Here's to loving well this final week of waiting. Also, here's a great movie opportunity for holiday viewing if you need a dose of hope mixed in with your reality! Many blessings to you on a chilly afternoon.
For the Love
Christ of my heart
I can feel your nearness.
I want so badly to touch you
and feel you with me.
I hear stories of violence, war and division
voices calling out to the love they know is you
and I imagine your heart pulled toward these calls--
reaching out to touch them, too.
I am waiting for you to enter again
and to defy all sense of reason by that arrival.
I am not so naive as to believe the first Christmas
healed divisions, made peace and clarified who you were to be, immediately--
only that I crave the nearness of Emmanuel--God with us & Word made flesh.
It is with trepidation that I ask, because
Your birth is both liberating and binding.
Liberating as you name our lives 'holy ground'--
worthy of your presence;
binding because the work you began, continues
with the work of our hands and hearts.
I pray that this final week of Advent prepares my heart
for the bold hope of nearness, paired with stamina