Poet and Mizzou Professor Scott Cairns reminds me in his poem “Christmas Green”* that Christmas offers us the chance to become new. He describes the birth of the baby Jesus like this:
“Just now the earth recalls His stunning visitation. Now the earth and scattered habitants attend to what is possible. That He of a morning entered this, our meagered circumstance, and so relit the fuse igniting life in them, igniting life in all the dim surround . . . . “
Though the word “meagered” does not appear in my English dictionary, we all know that our meagered circumstance is real: infertility for the newlyweds; Christmas day without the kids at home; the first holiday without Grandma; you fill in the blank. Our meagered circumstance appears in the news headlines each day: political leaders with no moral compass, refugees turned away at borders; racism that is so ingrained in us we can’t see it.
It is into this meagered circumstance that Jesus is born. And he is not born in a stable this year. He is born in us, igniting life in us and all our dim surround. His life reveals that God is born in human flesh, even ours. It is enough to make us sing. On Christmas Eve, you and I will light one candle and sing this promise of God.
– Carla Aday
*From Compass of Affection