Gathered round the manger, our memories come alive again – relief – the birthing was safe. Mom and baby survived – we know it doesn’t always happen that way. It doesn’t matter who we are when we get pregnant, we are always afraid. But here, now, fear rushes away on a wave of relief, catapulted by . . . by an amazing joy. Such beauty, so vulnerable. Oh God . . . this wonder . . . this life you trust us with! Purity, innocence, completely dependent on our ability to nurture, and protect. It’s as if you God have entered our lives in the only way possible. Our hearts swell . . . we catch our breath, . . . we pray. Please God may we be up to the task you ask of us. Fear creeps in. What is going to happen? Of all the possibilities that life carries with it, what is going to happen? Then you curl your infant hand around our finger. Our eyes water. For you, we will do whatever is necessary to keep this bit of heaven alive. . . . And we are not alone. God is in our world.
Thanks and gratitude are words that are not enough. Sacrifice. . . .
This little packet of beauty and innocence leads us to give over all that we are, in worshipful service to this perfection. . . . The deep slow peace of union.
We are touched by the presence of God, for this is holy.
When the not-yet-fully-birthed world makes its presence known and intrudes, we reach again for this peace and call out Hosanna, save us, from this disruption, save our sanity, keep close to us Mystery of Holiness holding our fingers. Come Holy Spirit, imbue our lives with that sacred peace. Help us to share again the life of God with us, the ancient word of Emmanuel. Help us to live as “God is salvation,” Jesus, that our living will take the wood of the cross and make the manger again, that life will be born again, and again, and again, whenever the not-yet-fully-birthed world in unawareness undoes the hope. We share the food of life, your life God broken time and again in the timeless moment of once in an upper room. Your life broken and scattered and shared so we might live again in that innocent beauty. We share your life poured out, again, and again, in that one infinite moment of all moments when you trust us. Infinite giving of infinite life. Thanks be to you.
We know the rush of life being birthed. We know the joy of holding in our being. We know the blessedness of life shared.
Rev. Leslie-Elizabeth King is the retired minister of the Lutheran-United Church of Thompson.