Coursing through life—maybe it’s traipsing or slogging along—I knew the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each have a different detailing [or a paucity of same] for the “arrival” of Jesus…because it’s not always about birth in a stable. This morning Tom Ehrich’s reflection on the ways in which we don’t find Jesus as much as He finds us…wherever we are…is somewhere north of brilliant. Now I’ve never met Tom Ehrich personally, yet each day he greets me with his reflection. I share it now…with hopes it will touch you in perhaps the best clarifying manner possible…that Jesus being born, God becoming human so we can become somewhere more than human…which isn’t inhuman but heading toward something—yes I will say it—angelic…can happen.
Christmas on the calendar is about to dawn. And with hope may it be that Christmas has been with us…with each dawning day…the reality that God isn’t gracious to us because of anything we might have done or the untoward we might have eschewed. Rather God is gracious because a merciful God is part of God’s DNA. For each of us. For each of us. And just maybe merciful can become part of our DNA.
Hear in your heart now from Tom Ehrich and his thought…his valued connecting with each of us:
“The Gospels tell four different stories of how Jesus came. Luke has a tender story of a young couple and shepherds and angels. Matthew tells of kings and exile in Egypt. Mark imagined Jesus appearing as an adult. John saw Jesus as a presence that began before time.
The point isn’t whose story is accurate, for they all imagine events that couldn’t possibly be known. The point is that God meets us in many places. Some will have a Currier & Ives Christmas this year. Some will be joyfully modern. Some will be lonelier than they ever imagined being. Some will wander through a fog of missing-out and falling-short and count the days until the dreadful holiday ends. God will be there for every one of us. Even the loneliest vigil can hear an angel. Even those wishing time would move faster can see a flicker of light in their darkness.
Christmas isn’t just a tree, a festive meal, family fun and gifts. Christmas is also reassurance that life is worth living. It is song “in the bleak midwinter.” It is “angels bending near the earth” as hatred and fear explode. It is silence overwhelming the noise. It is God’s “everlasting light” reaching into even the darkest streets.
Soon enough, family will return to their homes, gift wrappings will go out to the curb, trees will dry up, the calendar will turn, and the world of conniving politicians, race-baiting, violence and dread will come back into focus. It might seem as if God was never here.
But God was here. The emotion we felt was real. The light we saw was real. The darkness cannot conquer that light. Even if we turn to other pursuits, God knows our deeper search, and God is with us.”