Can you feel it? The anticipation? The tension of the waiting of these days of Advent? Can you feel it? Something is waiting to be born. And we are preparing for it. The angel tree dwarfed by gifts for children in need sang silently of what is waiting to be born. The Advent wreath created at Sunday's Longest Night service told us in sighs too deep for words of that which waits to be born. Bits of frayed blue fabric were tied around the wreath, each carrying the names of people, opportunities, traditions, and peace lost over the last two years. Mya's violin sang to us of that which is to be born as did Karen and Nikki's fingers on the piano. Socks piling up in Loveland and donated in Salisbury tell us of that which waits to be born.
And in Sunday's service, our pageant -- pure and utter, delight! We had an elf, a dancing kitty, an udderly hilarious cow, a reindeer, some wise guys, an innkeeper who kept us laughing, our faithful narrator, an expectant Mary and Joseph, angels, a star, shepherds and angelic music. The pageant was informal, just like us. Hilarious, poignant and just about perfect. And it told us of all that we are waiting for.
Love is being born. In our generosity. In our willingness and courage to show up in grief and joy, in tears and laughter. In our gatherings, our conversations, our celebrations, our sorrows, our prayers. And that is indeed how love is always born. Right here. Into this world. Into the chaos as much as the quiet. Into the busy-ness as much as into the clinging shadows of grief and worry. Into our lives just as we are. That is how Christ is always born. Into our midst. Into our lives. Into our hearts.
I hope we'll see you on Friday at 7:00 for Christmas Eve. I hope you will open up your heart, stretch it as wide as you can so that love can be born in and from you. Because that is who God is and what God does. And because our world needs it -- love. Born right here and right now.
The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973
This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war and hate
And a nova lighting the sky to war.
That time runs out and sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
in a land in the crushing grip of Rome:
Honour and truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth
And by greed and pride the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
~ Madeleine L’Engle