the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Awaiting the Baby

(This post was written December 10, 2011, I have backdated the posting date)
Eagerly, patiently, we await a baby. Honoring, we celebrate the Baby. What a magnificent time to be swollen with anticipation. Advent, the season of reflection as we await the birth of the Christ child. God made flesh. God, grown in the womb of an unwed mother, gaining life from her breast. What an unlikely story this is. An unlikely way to redeem a broken world.

Here, within the same year as laying down our firstborn, we carry our second, thankful most of all for Mary’s firstborn. Life with Christ living within us is everything our hearts are made for. Peace, joy, goodwill.  The seasonal songs have always recalled these themes, but the familiarity has oft rendered them unheard, even amidst the loudest of chorus.  “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” “Joy to the world.” What of these words, these now cultural clichés that ring throughout shopping malls as the season becomes about bustling streets rather than a bursting womb.  Odd, because from that womb birthed Peace, Joy. The antithesis of what most experience this time of year.

This season seems to incur stress, impatience, frustration. Is it just me or are many angrier folks on the road, and less likely people to look you in the eye as they try to beat you to be the next in line at the store.  Gift-giving is wonderful and can be a joyful endeavor. I don’t judge or offer alternatives of cloistering away and despising all around us. But what of the Baby, what of Peace, Joy?

As we anticipate the Baby, celebrating the birth that offers us all new birth I am acutely aware of longing this year. Not for the books I want (thought I do J ) or the blender I of which daydream (neurotically so), but for the longing of all the Baby offers us. Remembering, entering into the remembrance of the first Advent of Christ is to remind us, partially, of the second Advent of Christ. For those of us who have put Christ as Lord, believing He is at work setting all things right, making all things new, we await the fulfillment of that. Don’t we?

I am confronted, in this season, by how our challenges can lead us toward the Baby, the Christ, whose coming is to make all things new.  The strained family relationships, the broken ways I relate to those I love so much, the death of ones dearly loved that is remembered during this time, the death of those lost too soon, the injustice of children starving, civilians dying, unjust rulers.  Some sickening, others saddening. All broken by sin.

What do you long to be made new?

I don’t suggest that Christ is coming to us for a to-do list that he can check off like a celestial Santa Claus, but what if some of our deepest longings matched His? Culturally, God is often passé, or at best well-meaning but out of touch.  “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” the angels sang that night of his birth.  The depths of this meaning we could watch unfold our whole life.  “Joy to the world.” Maybe he knows more than we think. What prayers can we offer him this season, what relationship to be healed, what wounds to bind up, what comfort to the mourning?  Out of touch would not be my first thought of our God. But deeply in touch with our pains…so much so he comes. He lives with us. He cries with us. He brings good news. He dies to rise again. And we await his second advent.  For now we live in the tension of his first advent and his second.  

My deepest pray is that this Baby brings to you all the peace and joy for which your soul longs this season. 

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