Friday, December 21, 2012
Christ, the Child we all long for...
The candle crackles and the peaceful music plays of how to sing with the angels that herald the King. I sit with books piled high, end-of-semester grading, and texts popping in from family, friends...tidings of good news and great joy, and of jobs, babies, Christmas gifts to plan and parties to attend. And don't we all have so much to be thankful for? How easy it is to let life pull us down into the mire, and doesn't Christmas lift us up into the holy and glorious, the sacred and wondrous?
I have been guilty of living in that fog. Waiting for the belly to swell with hope, and joy for the future, when Christ swells within me daily--and don't I feel that? The mind sinks to circumstantial fears, that loom dark when hope swells in others. And I forget. Forget that the Christ child came to us all, no one was forgotten. Today when we wait for test results, and hurting families to heal, and oh-don't-we-wish-it-weren't-that-way days to end....Christ longs for us to long for Him. When jobs and cars and houses don't satisfy, Christ gives us purpose, daily transport to heavenly realities, and a home with Him forever.
These days ticking off to Christmas, and I wonder at the child in the manger, who came into our world, us undeserving shepherds, parents, gift-givers, innkeepers....and I wonder. Will a child coming to our home feel just as wondrous? This blessed union that has ached and amazed, as we've grown to love and trust...just like that stable, a messy and imperfect, dusty and dirty (literally, sometimes), humble abode...will it be a home for someone miraculous? I will welcome that one with joy. Advent 2012, however, brings the hope of the Christ born in my heart, in a new way. I am 'nesting', creating space in my heart for New Life, cleaning out the dark and damp closets that house my fears, hanging robes of righteousness, compassion, patience, and thankfulness.
Days ago, I sat hopeful with a doctor who tells me that this hope for the belly to swell, it's not impossible (and I'm thinking, with God, was that ever so?). He says that he has answers, and I breathe hopeful. Do you wait this Christmas? Can you turn that longing into a longing for Christ? O Come, O Come Emmanuel! And truly, He comes into our hearts, whether the friendship heals, the interview happens, the party goes well, or the gifts and cards are all sent on time....He comes. Oh, let us be thankful.
Rejoicing in the Christ child,