thinking theology

As Close As My Own Heart

One of the things I love about Christmas is the quiet. I was thinking though that quiet is relative and never complete. Even with all the stores closed and the cooking and the praying and the singing done, there is still sound. I was thinking about what a baby hears before he/she is born. What do they hear? They hear their mother’s heart beat. At the nursing home this week, I asked if they remembered being born and they looked anxious, “Is this another trick question?”

I confessed that I, and everyone else for that matter, cannot remember that time. Perhaps the memory gets washed away in the trauma of birth. But I have been thinking ever since then about what is really true. What is true is my own heart beat that connects me to that moment when all I could hear was a heart beating in sync with mine, the body providing me shelter and nurture. I do in fact remember my birth; it is as close as my own heart.

One might say that one of the unique things about Jesus is that he never forgot his own heart, or hearing that primordial pounding. No trauma could divest him of his connection to the rhythm that is at the core if all life. Not even death could sever his connection to the heart that beats through all of life.

So tonight in the quiet, we remember the heart that is divine, that beats in and through us all, the heart of the Maker of all, the Source of love and new creation. Let us remember that heart beat that connects us to our parents, to our ancestors, to the rest of creation. Let us remember this story that claims a place for God under a human heart, inside a human womb, the DNA that connects us to everything living. Let us remember the mystery that is the heart of God pounding through our lives whether we hear it or not, whether we remember or not.

At the centre of everything in the midst of the midst is the holy. And that holiness, that beauty, can be evidenced in human life. The incarnation of love, joy, and a dream for the future: that is the story of Jesus. And the sanctuary that he desires is your heart, your deepest self that can remember when you first heard the universe calling you to life.

Remember to whom you belong, the God that is giving birth to you whether you pay attention or not. Listen to your heart beat and remember the story of a baby who grew into an adult filled with passion and awareness of his own source. Remember that all is life, always beginning, always changing, always sheltered and nurtured by holiness.

In the womb of life, we live and hear the rhythm of the universe. We are invited to offer our wonder at the altar of a baby, the sign of God with us, within us, amongst us, abiding. God is in your heart and your breath. In the quiet, hear God’s love resonating through your veins and through our world, down every mountain and waterfall, across every prairie and ice field, in lakes and trees. With all the creatures we say Glory and praise for the one who makes us holy.

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