Today Christians celebrate the unlikely beginning of the life of Jesus. The story is well known.
Mary and Joseph had taken shelter in a stable for farm animals, because all the places for lodging were full. Mary bore her baby amongst the chickens and sheep and oxen and donkey. Very humble beginning indeed.
Yet you can imagine, especially if you’re a parent, the manner in which all else fell away when the child came into this world. Humbling, speechless, JOY. One can only be in the moment. Imagine that moment.
Today we went to Mass at a packed church in my wife’s home town. Even those believers who are not church-goers show up on Christmas Eve.
We got there late. I had to park four blocks away. I hustled in as the service began.
There was little open space even in the crying room. We ended up on the back corner. All good.
With five little kids between my sister-in-law’s and our family, that space suited us fine. That’s where noisy, distracted families belong, in my humble opinion. Folks up front are there to fully participate.
Front or back of the house though, I find myself feeling humbled when I contemplate God become human in that newborn baby in swaddling clothes that stable. If I give it just a little focus, and can get my mind and soul far enough inward to feel the awe. I feel the joy.
I have to listen above the din of the kids and people gathered together, much the way the animals in the stable might have distracted the new parents of Jesus. But the joy is there.
The main thing is the moment, the devine inserted into this world some two thousand years. And still present today among us. JOY.
Emmanuel. “God With Us.