And the face of God turns one last time in the waters of the womb, and the membrane breaks and the amniotic fluid leaks and the skin of God slips naked and small and holy into hands He made. – Ann Voskamp
We do not like to think of the details of that first Christmas–of water breaking, of intense labour pains, of a young woman miles from home having her first child, of a young man standing by her even though he knows the child is not his, of blood pouring out even then as it did on the cross. No, we prefer to think instead of shiny stars and singing angels. We would like to bypass the pain that birthing brings. So many of my friends who are mothers tell me you forget that pain. I suspect that is true as with any pain in life. Once you get on the other side of it you look instead for what you’ve gained.
God came naked, small, and holy into our world that night. God arrived the same way each one of us did, through the birthing process. We are all called to bring Christ to life this Christmas. For some of us that will be a joyous occasion and for others it will be a painful reminder of the crosses that we have had to bear this year. For some of us, it will be more than water that has been broken. Our hearts and our lives may have been shattered this year. Regardless of how Christ comes to you this Christmas, I pray that you know that God has made you good and holy. It is God’s hands that have made you and in God’s hands you are held, just as the holy family held baby Jesus on that silent, holy night. May all of the blessings of Christmas be yours this night.
How do you imagine that first Christmas night unfolding?
Do you understand that the hands that held the baby Jesus were hands that he created?
Stretching and turning for the last time, You head towards the light. May we too allow ourselves to be reborn as we head towards Your Light this Christmas Eve. Into your hands, we commit our spirits, O Lord. Amen.