Thursday, December 24, 2009

Welcome, Jesus! Merry Christmas to All!

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4

Beloved God with us,

I’ve come to see you. I’m not as clean as I wish I was, but I’m hoping you’ll receive me just as you did the rough, and sweaty shepherds who burst in on you on that holy night so long ago. They were afraid. I guess that spectacular light show in the sky got to them. I wish I felt more afraid than I do. I should, considering this is it: the Incarnation. But all of this is so simple; so ordinary. No, it’s less than ordinary. This is abject poverty. Most babies aren’t born where the livestock is. I keep asking myself, how can this be God? Yet, here you are. I know it’s you, because here I am, on my knees, and my heart is aflame within me.

It isn’t as pristine as the Christmas cards make it seem. It’s cold, and drafty, and filthy, and it smells of animals and dung in here. No wise men are hovering over you with their gifts. The shepherds aren’t even here. Just me, and your folks, and my hands are empty. But Lord, seeing you like this, so vulnerable, my heart is full.

Look at you in that feeding trough. I can’t get over how tiny you are, but oh. You are perfect. The scriptures say when you grow up you won’t be much to look at, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a gorgeous child. I hope I always see you like this: beautiful, new, and surprising.

Oh my! Your mom is bringing you to me! Thank you, Mary. You really are full of grace. This is incredible! I feel so clumsy, Lord. Like I can hurt you if I’m not careful. But you feel so good in my arms. You’re like a warm little ball of pure love. Can you feel me shaking? I’m undone. You’re right here at my heart. I wish I could stop time right here, and hold you like this forever, loving on you, and kissing you like this.

You still smell like the blood from your mother’s womb. Oh, Jesus. You’ll have this same coppery scent again in about 33 years. But it’ll be a much bloodier occasion than your birth. That time, you’ll be dying, so that I can be born anew. Have mercy. I don’t want to think about what I’m going to put you through. Not today. But I can’t help it.

Oh, man. Forgive me, Jesus. I’m crying all over you. You’re the baby, but I’m the one blubbering. I’m not trying to scare you on your birthday, but the shadow of the cross is on this barn, and there isn’t a thing I can do to stop what’s going to happen to you. So, I’ll just continue to hold you tight, if you don’t mind. If I can keep you close to me we may just get through the rest of your story together. Despite how small you are, I’m the one that needs you to save me. This is craziness, but this is the way you chose to do it. Who can understand such mysteries?

I’m amazed that you can fall asleep in my guilty arms. Maybe you’re so quiet and peaceful because even now you know you’ll make it all right. Oh, Lord. Who can understand such mysteries? It’s mind blowing enough to think that you are here: God as a baby, born in the humility of a barn, resting in my arms, my ragged heartbeat sounding in your tiny ear. And you will not forget me. Ever.

Amazing grace.

Sleep in heavenly peace, Lord Jesus. And welcome. I’m glad you’re here.

Merry Christmas, lovies!

mair-francis

7 comments:

The Morrows said...

Thank you for bringing Advent alive for me this year, my friend. Your vulnerability and blunt honesty about your shortcomings inspire me and have nudged me closer to the intimacy with Christ that I long for. Thank you for your example, and for your friendship. Merry Christmas, sister. *hugs*

ragamuffin diva said...

Merry Christmas to you all, Ali. I love you Morrows! Thank you for inspiring and encouraging me in your own way. Many Blessings today and in the coming year. :)

GailNHB said...

Mair, merry christmas to you too, my friend. I have been thinking about what it must have felt to Mary to have God moving in her womb. To hold God in her arms. Did Jesus know who He was even as an infant? No matter, He is here. God is with us. Glory be to the newborn king!!!

ragamuffin diva said...

Glory to the new born King, indeed. Merry Christmas, Gail!

Rehoboth said...

How I love this post, Mair. Tears filled my eyes. May our Lord bless you and grant you peace this year ahead.

ragamuffin diva said...

I'm grateful you were moved, Susan. And I'm doubly grateful for you.

GailNHB said...

I am loving the new look on the blog. Great images and colors. I've got Rome Sweet Home waiting for me at the library! I am looking forward to digging into it very soon.

Peace to you.
Stay warm, dear friend.