On Christmas Eve, we’ll bundle our kids into their Christmas outfits, we’ll sing carols, and we’ll light the Christ candle. We’ll listen to the story about the God who came in utter darkness, to a world filled with violence and oppression, to be the Prince of Peace who would set all things right. We’ll celebrate the God came in the form of a vulnerable baby.
What a story.
It involved a virgin birth, requiring the permission of a 14-year old peasant girl, requested by angel, during a dream. It included a heavenly birth announcement sung by a choir of angels, to a group of nameless, poor shepherds in the middle of nowhere. It revealed that the Son of God actually was born in a barn. And it resulted in a Jewish baby boy born in a time when every Jewish baby boy was being murdered by a power-hungry king.
God with us.
The God who was untouchable & unknowable became the God was a baby who needed to be constantly held. Then a toddler who needed to be whisked out of the country. Then a Messiah who went to the cross. Then a King who stole the keys of death and hell.
God with us.
And this year, we need God with us more than ever, it seems.
Meister Eckhart wrote, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”
You see, the hidden undertone of the incarnation is this: that God wants to be reborn in each of us, again and again, at all times and in all moments, so that light can always be present to heal the current darkness of our blind world. Every single one of us who says yes to God – across every generation of history since that first silent night – becomes pregnant with Jesus, who is eager to be born into each moment, each life, each generation. It is precisely in times when things seem darkest that Jesus is born anew in simple people like you and me, shining bright hope in shopping malls, schools, living rooms, office buildings, cul-de-sacs, skyways and street corners. Even funerals.
Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. I am simply looking for somewhere to be born.”
And so the question that comes to us, this Christmas Eve, is simple: Who has room within them for Jesus, so that he can be born anew in you? It’s not lost on me that a shabby stable was the only spot in which there was room for Mary to give birth to Jesus. We are stables, each of us, shabby and poor though we may be, and the Light of the World comes when we agree to shelter him within us, shining up through the cracked rafters and into the cold, dark night.
Is there room in you?
“We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”
So this Christmas Eve, it’s not time to despair. It’s time to make room, so that the Prince of Peace can be born in our world, moment by moment, through you and through me. He is the light of the world. We simply hold and house the light and let it shine.