A Fresh Look at the Christmas Miracle
Giving birth to Christ all year long.
December 8, 2018 - International
Christmas descends upon us each year replete with songs and lights, poignant images of the newborn Jesus in the manger, and fervent shepherds heralding the arrival of the Savior of the World … Beautiful, heartfelt expressions, indeed, of our appreciation of the Incarnation!
I wonder, though, might we explore and celebrate the season from a different angle? I believe we might find such a reflection equally rich—and even a little deeper—in its call to Christian discipleship.
Let’s begin by thinking about how we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of those dear to us – siblings or good friends, for example. We prepare a celebration meal, offer tokens or gifts, attend a party, and write a note or sing a song that honors their importance in our lives. What we typically don’t do is pull out photos of their birth, or attempt to recapture the moment of their birth. Why not? Because the birthday celebration honors the relationship we actually have with them today—their importance in our lives, the interweaving of their story with ours, those aspects of their personhood that we cherish.
What would it mean to honor the birth of Jesus in the same way? It would mean we celebrate Christ alive and present to us in the world today. Better still, we could still use the language and imagery of Jesus’ birth to express our mission in the context of our work at NPH. One phrase expresses it:
We give birth to Christ all year long.
We at NPH give birth to Christ every time our hands reach out in compassion and comfort to an adult or child in pain … and the heavenly hosts sing Alleluia just as surely as they did in Bethlehem!
We give birth to Christ every time we draw close to our community those who feel diminished, excluded, or disposable … and the angels above announce the Good News again, just as surely as they did to the shepherds on that Holy Night.
We give birth to Christ every time a child is healed of her abuse or loss and shown a pathway of caring, love and support … and again the star shines as brilliantly as it surely did for the Magi.
It’s a wonderful thing to delight in the Incarnation at Christmas time. It’s just as wonderful to delight in the rebirth of Christ in our hearts, minds, and bodies all year long.
NPHI Mission Ministry Member