The Child is Born Again
A Devotional by Pastor Jamie
While Advent is my favorite liturgical season of the church year, I am always struck by the paradox it brings. Advent calls us to prepare ourselves for Christ’s arrival, knowing that he has already come. We anticipate Christ’s second coming, knowing that it cannot be predicted and will come like “a thief in the night.” With many aspects of our faith, we live in the reminder of God’s faithful presence and action in the world through our Scriptural stories, the lived experience we have of feeling that presence in our own lives, and the faith and hope that God will continue to act in the same ways in the future.
As we are just days away from celebrating Christ’s birth anew, I appreciated reading this poem in Ann Weems’ collection, Kneeling in Bethlehem. It served as a reminder, that despite this paradox for those of us who celebrate Advent year after year, for some, Christ’s arrival at Christmas is a new experience. For those new to the faith, this may be the first year that they come to understand God’s love for them through the gift of a child. This may be the first year that some connect themes of hope, peace, love, and joy, that are preached in many holiday contexts, with how those themes speak specifically to Jesus’ birth, and what that means for the world. For many, this is a new message, a message that many still have not yet embraced.
And so while for many of us it is the same familiar story, we continue to tell it, for it will always be good news for us, and for those who hear it for the first time. We must continue to tell God’s story of love and salvation for those that have not yet experienced it. We must continue to live and share God’s peace and joy with our neighbors, our friends, our families, until the Child is born in every heart. Those of us who have long celebrated God’s presence in our lives, must continue to help others hear and believe the good news that is for all people, that Christ has come, and will come again.