The gospel writers Matthew and Luke tell stories of the birth of Jesus. It is my contention that they do so in order to help their readers apprehend that Jesus is, and was always, the Messiah (or the Christ), the one who makes all things new—and why that is good news. I believe that stories are important and contain Truth whether or not everything in them actually happened. This Christmas season as I listen again to this story I am listening for where its Truth connects with my story and brings the possibility of new life to me.
I love that the One we worship comes among us as a baby. How intimate and personal, ordinary and vulnerable! I see that being little and humble leaves more space for God to be present and at work than does being important, proudly virtuous, or hierarchically powerful. I see that with God all things are possible. Closed doors and brick walls and what-shouldn’t-be need not be the final word.
This story awakens me to the possibility that I might meet Christ in anyone, that I am wise to be open to the unexpected instead of holding on to how it has always been, that I haven’t figured out where Christ will be and need not box Him out of unlikely places. In this political season I am delighted by the details in this story that suggest that the power, misdeeds, or regulations of government cannot prevent Christ’s coming. This story invites me to risk and vulnerability rather than control.
The shepherds and the wise men find the Christ Child. Those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts that are tender can find and recognize the Holy One. I pray to be prepared to receive the Gift that God has given.
What do you need to let go inwardly in order to have room for God’s Love Gift?
What keeps you from recognizing or receiving the Christ Child?
What insights come to you from this story?
Think of a person or persons or a set of circumstances that you will encounter this Christmas season. Pray that you might see the Light that shines in the midst of your experiences. Pray that you might encounter the Christ Child, and that if you do, you might recognize and receive Him.
For further reflection:
See Matthew’s account of Jesus’s birth—Matthew 1: 18 – 2: 12.
See Luke’s account—Luke 2: 1-20.
For other people who recognize who the child Jesus is, see Luke 2: 25-38.