Everyone is remarking on what an emotional roller coaster 2016 has been. Tragic losses of children in many parts of the world, gun violence, environmental disasters, the re-emergence of prejudice, historical anger, and a contempt for justice and compassion. In this climate, we fear the worst and find ourselves braced against the future.
Humanity, while knowing more, understands perhaps even less about how to live abundantly, in community, in peace. It is grievous to think how much is needlessly lost because of fear and greed. Jesus lived in a similar time, a time when people prayed for relief.
The story of the incarnation teaches that the divine is revealed within human life, the divine is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. We may make the problems of our world, but we have the power to create the solutions also. At Standing Rock, brave people faced a strongly armed military force. All over the world, bigots are being challenged by other ordinary people to rediscover the light within.
Jesus, whom we call the prince of peace, was born as we all are, in water and blood, tears and pain. But what followed was joy. The gift of Jesus to the world is the promise, that when we’re ready and willing, the pain will end and the rejoicing will begin.
On this holy night, we are not really celebrating the birth of a baby, but the birth of hope, of creativity, of compassion, emerging from the womb of history, from the holiness that lies nestled in the heart of the human spirit. Don’t let the power of this night be diminished by sentimentality. Our power lies in our vulnerability. Our power lies in our bodies that connect us to the earth and the other creatures. Our power lies in water, not guns, hearts, not armour.
We have power, spirit power and it is time for we, the followers of Jesus, to use this with courage and compassion. It will not be safe, and it may be scary, but it is what we promised in our baptism, and every time, we say we are the people of Jesus. Being born is a struggle, but incarnation is born of that struggle. And that incarnation is the love we share, the forgiveness that liberates us, and the joy that being aware of gods presence with us brings.