Thursday, December 25, 2014

Heaven Could Not Hide Its Joy

                                        Heaven threw a shivaree that night;
A loud, boisterous, serenading celebration
to welcome
A child.  A baby.
We all know the story. 
We hear it repeated this night every year.
A story about a young couple, expecting their first born,
doing their civic duty, traveling to register
in the husband’s hometown,
as the census and the law required.
Outside of her swollen belly,
there must have been nothing
about them that stood out;
no conspicuous traits that marked them as favored.
Perhaps if a halo of light had circled about their heads,
there would have been room for them
in the inn after all.
But nothing in their manner shouted,
So in some outlying, unexpected place 
their child gulped his first breath and
cried his first cry.
Maybe none would have known
that he had arrived,
that this pairing was now
a family.
But heaven could not hide its joy.
Gabriel’s earlier visits
must have blazed a celestial trail.
For once the first winged messenger
shared the news with some
shepherds sitting with their flocks,
the night sky filled with
host after heavenly host.
A chorus of voices.
A throng of wings.
Their light and song so bright
even the stars were consumed
by their radiance.
Heaven could not hide its joy
for this baby born in the usual way.
Yet that is what makes this story
so extraordinary
so amazing
so filled with grace,
because on that night
God inhabited the ordinary.
God took on the human,
God took on us,
with all of our frailties and failings
our suffering and our sorrows,
everything that makes us
On that night
God entered in and
mystery and mortality met,
became flesh
and dwelt among us.
On this night, this holy night,
we remember not just a birth
centuries old and long ago.
We remember that our God
is a God of promise.
We remember that the promise made then
continues in this now,
and will remain in faithfulness tomorrow.
Our God,
who called substance and shape out of chaos,
light out of the deepest darkness,
bridged the chasm we caused
between us and Him
with his own flesh and blood.
He came into our lives
to give us love,
He came to remind us that
His promise is sure.
The darkness we stumble in
will not overwhelm us.
It was and is and will be
pierced with His glorious,
Wherever and whenever
 A child is born,
Wherever and whenever
love is welcomed,
hope reborn,
peace pursued,
God’s promise rings out.
God is with us.
God is with us.
Heaven cannot hide its joy.
Alleluia!  Amen.

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