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My Father Comes Back to Me

 My father died in the fall of 1996.  But every year, in early spring, with the chill still in the air, my father comes back to me.   He com...

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Hope of Christmas

I love the Christmas story.  It is a story about two ordinary people who are caught up in a most extraordinary, cosmic event that will change the world forever.

A young girl, who has never been intimate with a man who chooses to be intimate with God.  "Let it be so," she told the angel, Gabriel.

A man, who discovers that his fiancĂ© is pregnant and chooses (against all custom) to continue to love her and to love the child that she will bear.

It is a story about a hard journey to a distant city where relatives reside; of registering for the census; of being counted as taxpayers for the Roman tax.

It is a story about God's love for humanity entering the world in the form of a human child; a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and held close in his mothers arms; a baby born in a manger, the long awaited Messiah, surrounded by farm animals.

It is a story about God first revealing the incarnation through angels joyfully singing to shepherds; lowly keepers of sheep; servants of the fields, who leave their flocks and enter the manger to behold the godchild.

It is a story of prophecies foretold, divine promises kept; it is a story of faith and of acting on that faith; it is a story of God's intervention in the course of human events.

Whenever I think that this world is spiraling out of control, that there is no hope left, I remember the Christmas story, when love and hope were born in an ordinary way, in an ordinary place, to ordinary people.  And I have comfort.  And I have joy.