Source of Our Joy, by Shirley Smith Franklin
Last week in December, 2015
In this mixed up and topsy-turvy world, full to bursting with hopes and fears, migrations, mountains quaking, icebergs and oceans melting and heating, how and to whom does Christmas come?
Does it come as strong arms lifting a frightened child from the tired arms of a parent clambering out of a boat onto firm ground of uncertain refuge? Does it come in the form of barbaric acts and sweeping migrations in the name of God and freedom? A volunteer chatting the evening away with a stranger who has outlived all her relatives and friends.? Children’s memorized recitations and role-play? Amplified voices exhorting the faithful to praise or to pray, now and forevermore? School children decorating place mats and singing for senior citizens? Worshipers streaming to and from the church (ten thousand is a modest estimate of the crowd at our neighborhood church despite wearying sixty minute sermons, and ear-splitting audio-over-amplification) during five hours on Christmas Day? In the form of a skinny teenage mother nursing a toddler at the street corner, resting, along with a few more beggars, in the glare of the noonday sun from their holiday windfall from door-to-door canvassing for a few rupees, ripe fruit and old clothes? A child asking the origin and meaning of the word Christmas? Does it come on the wind as music, old familiar or shrill new, songs in so many languages that only God could understand them all? As instantly translated high level talks among world leaders in well lit, lofty chambers? In an outdoor, candle and moonlit circle of worshipers with a background of gently throbbing drums? Crinkle and crush of bright wrappings tossed aside from gifts of more or less thought and value, given out of duty or love? In three family members rushing another to the ER, or the medical team bending over him or her, just as the angels once bent low to sing their song of life-giving love?
How has Christ come for you this Christmas?
And where will you seek Him in the year to come?