Jesus’ birth changes everything. Not only are holy promises fulfilled, but all of our futures are now subject to new beginnings and new endings.
Life is most fully lived within the light that Jesus brings into the world. What can that mean for us from this day forward? We have journeyed with Zechariah through doubt and silence. We have journeyed with Elizabeth through barrenness and wonder. We have journeyed with Mary through blind faith and acceptance. How can we now journey with Christ in the midst of our assorted longings, misgivings, and worries?
Jesus’ birth invites us to lay down our concerns for a moment and kneel with awe and thanksgiving at the faithfulness and love of God. The longer we gaze upon Jesus, the more we realize that life as we know it can no longer remain the same. …
Part of the wonder of this season is that God chooses to bring about the mystery of Jesus’ birth with human help. We see God’s work woven into the intercession of Zechariah, the courage of Elizabeth, the obedience and faith of Mary, the humility of Joseph, and the discipline and devotion of John the Baptist.
Through Jesus, the Word of God, all things come into being, but we still have a role to play in the fulfillment of God’s promises to an aching world. Like Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary, we have to listen for God’s invitations into this ongoing holy drama. Our adoration of the Christ child must lead to obedience and devotion. Only then can we open our lives to God’s continual life-giving disruptions.
Holy infant, Savior, Eternal Word of God,
May our adoration and praise converge in obedience and devotion.
May we find our lives bound up in you.
May we have the courage and the wisdom to drop our burdens
long enough to bear you in our arms.
This reflection was excerpted from pages 95–96 of Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro. Copyright © 2012 by Enuma Okoro. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.