How is it that all the hope and joy and tragedy and sorrow of the world can be held so completely in an obscure place where love is being born? Does God really want to be that close to our mess? We celebrate Christmas 2020 with all of this “life” dumped into our laps and living rooms. A year that words cannot contain. Tears. Laughter. A glass of bourbon. Extra visits to the AA room and Al-Anon groups. Zoom family reunions. Limited capacity weddings and funerals. Exam rooms and ICU’s too full and too loud with alarms and the labor of ventilators helping weary lungs. Long walks in the woods that seem unaffected by our chaos. Reaching out to a friend who can simply hold the tension of the day with us until night comes and we sleep again. And then, there is Monday.
The amazing grace of God that is in the middle of our chaos is an unlimited favor. We experienced Christmas Eve worship in our homes this year and woke up to a bomb in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day. The announcement of the angel: “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy for all the people!” could not arrive soon enough. And despite all that would silence our joy or damper our hope – love is born into it all anyway! We sing carols. We offer gifts. We look at one another across the room and we are thankful. Thankful because, yes, God shows right up in the middle of our situations and doesn’t leave.
Jesus works his way into our corners and, even in the deepest darkness, he feels around until he finds our hand. Reaching through the dark, the God of heaven invites us once again to open up our clenched fists and receive the offer of the Messiah. Like a tiny baby curls its hand around your little pinky finger and squeezes tight. God is right here with us.
Sometimes our Creator reaches out to hold our hand in surprising ways. Today, on this Christmas Monday, may the hand of the Messiah meet you in the joy and sorrow of life and just hold you and give you peace.