Because we ached for it. Like the burning panic in our lungs when we’ve been under water for too long, we burned for it.
And it comes.
We had been told in so many ways, had heard from so many voices
that it would never come.
That we were hopeless.
That all of this was hopeless.
But we doubted the doubt. We questioned the questions. We harbored some hope that hope would come.
Sure, there was sadness.
Madness plaguing our world.
But there was too much wonder,
too much magic for this to all be lost.
And so hope comes.
It wasn’t overwhelming force.
The angel armies didn’t conquer that night.
Whatever fire is stored in heaven, whatever power animates this universe, it didn’t show its teeth.
We weren’t made small before Him. Weren’t made to tremble.
How does hope come when it seems feeble against the cynics, buried under the hellish inevitabilities of the world we have fashioned in our image?
How does hope come?
Vulnerable, a baby.
Ignorable, a baby.
A baby that needed milk from his mom and protection from his dad comes and is our hope.
A baby who would disappear into obscurity not long after he hits the scene, waiting years to reemerge and do his healing and his preaching and his dying and his resurrecting.
I wonder if he wanted to touch this world through skin.
I wonder if he wanted to smell it, wanted to hear it the way we hear it.
Wanted to feel the pulse throbbing in his chest.
And I wonder if we would have missed him.
I wonder if we would have noticed the hope.
I might not have seen it.
I might have been checking my paystub to see if any hope was there,
might have been tallying my connections to see how much hope was there,
might have been watching the beautiful people or the high powered people to see if any hope was there,
and I might not have seen a baby in a backwater bringing hope.
But even for me, with all my distractions, my own idolatries, my own hellish inevitabilities,
even though I’ve trusted the voices of cynicism, though the burning aching in my lungs almost burned me up with nothing left,
even for me, hope comes.
even for you.
especially for you.
Merry Christmas, everyone.