How God Shows up
by Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity
Inspired by Luke 2:1-20
In this image, as if looking past a curtain, we peer into this threshold moment when excruciating pain gives way to ecstatic joy as Mary draws her baby to her chest and he takes his first breath. As Mary holds her baby, additional hands reach in to support them both. Maybe these are the hands of strangers, of Joseph, or of a midwife who was summoned. Perhaps they are simply the hands of angels. Each year, we tell this story because it is raw with joy, pain, and the complexities of being human. No matter how your story is unfolding, may you find that this sacred story holds space for you. For this is how God shows up—in a child who cries, in hands that hold, in human flesh, in life and in death. Christmas is a day of praise. If part two of our two-day celebration, then now is when the trumpets blow and the shouts go up. This is “Joy to the World” time; this is “Hark! The Herald Angels” time. It is hard to be too loud or too happy today. It is hard to be too exuberant or overly playful today. Let it out as you sing, as you pray, as you greet one another on this glorious Christmas morning. But keep in mind those who are struggling today—those who are grieving and feel the loss of a loved one most keenly today. Accept their sadness, even as you welcome them with joy today. And don’t expect to replace what they are missing, but remind them in tangible ways that they are not as alone as they feel today.