A few years ago, I was tutoring a kindergartner from Ethiopia. The Christmas break was coming up, and I asked him what he was most looking forward to. He’s five, so I figured presents would be at the top of the list, then followed by food, and then maybe visits with family. This is of course assuming he remembered what holidays were all about, being five. I was also guessing that he was Christian – many Ethiopians are.
He surprised me. He smiled hugely and got wistful. He looked off and up. He said very excitedly – “It’s Jesus’ Birthday!”
And a child shall lead them.
He’s got it. It isn’t the break to look forward to. It is Jesus. He’s coming, again, to each of us. Coming to let us know again that we are loved and wanted more than anything else in the world.
We have a God that loves us – even when we don’t love God.
We have a God that is always there, waiting for us with open arms.
We have a God that provides for us all the time, even before we ask.
So many gods demand to be loved. Ours loves us already, loves us before we are even born. Loves us when we stray and loves us when we return.
We have a God that wants us to be active participants in bringing forth the Kingdom. We are called to be A Part of this. Not apart from it.
This is amazing to me. We aren’t passively here. We are active. God works through us to bring forth healing. When God needs someone to be fed, God doesn’t create a miracle. Poof – Food appears. No – God wakes us up to go outside of our own needs. That is the miracle. The miracle is that we aren’t all selfish animals. The miracle is that we notice and care for others.
The everyday is the extraordinary.
And all of this was inspired by a small child who got excited about it being Jesus’ birthday.
(I’m going through my backlog of half-finished posts and finishing them. This was from December of 2012. Some are becoming poems because they are mere sketches of ideas, not fleshed out. They are more stop and start than exposition. This is kind of inbetween.)