Christmas is upon us, with its insistent question, “What do you want to do about all of this?” Another question tags along: “How would any of us welcome a baby who came into our homes?”
At the beginning of Advent we were comforted with the words of Isaiah about a child—a babe—being born to a virgin. A perhaps-small reason to hope during our own troubled times. But we knew, we believed, and we treated that Advent assurance like a prayer, hoping that our salvation—near- and long-term—was at hand.
In these days before Christmas, other signs for hope are starting to bud and bloom. Economic relief on the horizon, vaccines coming, one president on the way out, another on his way in, people reaching out to each other, generosity growing. Hopes re-ignited, hopes beginning to be realized.
What joins the Isaiah thoughts and the Christmas Babe is the truth that God’s sometimes-small signs grow into our lives like roots in dry ground, hymns in the middle of silence, truth in the middle of lying’s landscapes.
A baby was born in Bethlehem, and we know now that this sign has grown into something true, good, beautiful and lasting. What we have hoped for—salvation and rescue in their many forms—is here.
Our task, our attitude, our spirit? Welcoming this God-child into our lives as the center of our identity and guiding light for our lives. Cherishing this Savior-baby as part of our family. Perhaps a re-centering of priorities, a discarding of life-chaff, committing ourselves again to the way of Christ. Turning outward, past our fears and anxieties, to see how we carry this gift of Jesus into the coming year.
A blessed Christmas to you—and to your babe-welcoming home!