O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray,
cast out our sin and enter in
be born in us today.
Today is Christmas. Today we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace even though war in Ukraine rages; even though millions are hungry, cold, and scared; even though the United States Congress managed to set aside its differences to give the Defense Department $858 billion. Evidently, “thoughts and prayers” are good enough for children but not for the Defense Department.
War is hell, but it sure makes a helluva lot of money for Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing. So much for peace on earth! Peace doesn’t pay. Greed does.
It’s tempting to despair.
But today is Christmas. It’s no time to mourn.
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The date, place, and circumstances are questionable, doubtful. The myth is not.
The myth resounds in our hearts. Hope is awakened. Peace and goodwill are on the horizon. Again.
It’s an old, old story—prophet bards foretold it. It’s older than Jesus. Way older.
And so today we deck the halls with boughs of holly. We eat, drink, and make merry.
It matters not whether Jesus was born in Bethlehem while cattle lowed, shepherds bowed, and coyotes howled. But it does matter that Jesus was born of a virgin. I know, I know. That’s the most incredible part of all. But not really. It’s a myth. It never was but always is.
The virgin birth gives us hope.
Yes, the gynecology makes no sense. But it’s not about a supernatural miracle. It’s about something unexpected in us.
For what was born in Mary is borne in us. We are pregnant with light and love. We harbor a deep longing for peace and goodwill for all.
You can make the angels sing.
Like Mary, we are children of the earth, children of human parents, rooted in a material world. But there’s more to us than that. We are children of God. And in case you hadn’t heard: God is love.
Love is your birthright.
Mary lived under the brutal heel of the Roman Empire. Mary knew the laws of nature. She didn’t understand how God could be born in her. Still, in the hour of darkness she whispered, “Let it be.”
And it was so.
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