Christmas means that everything is all right.
As far back as 70,000 years ago, men and women were looking to the sky and wondering: Are we ok? Are we acceptable in the sight of God? Almost universally, they thought not. And so began the endless sacrifices meant to appease whatever God was up there.
The Incarnation—God becoming human for our sake—is God’s eternal sign of reconciliation. This is the angels’ message: “Peace upon earth among people of goodwill!” No more sacrifices. Christmas means we don’t need to do anything to get into God’s good graces. In fact, there is no longer any “us” and “God,” no fearful gap that must be closed.
We are still the same flawed and faithless people we always were, except now Jesus is one of us. His inhabiting a human body means it’s good to be a man or woman, with all that entails.
It’s ok to worry
to feel lonely
to ache with regret.
It’s normal to hurt
to wish we hadn’t said that
hadn’t left anyway.
It’s ok to be faithful one day and a screw-up the next,
ok to make promises we weren’t meant to keep.
It’s ok because Jesus, the one crying right now and reaching for someone to hold him in the cold, is on team human. He’s no different from us; he really isn’t. And at his birth this morning, God is looking on, adoring this baby, loving everything about this child and every one of his sisters and brothers. That would be us. You and me.
On this morning we have the all-clear from heaven.
P.S. Thanks for being part of this Advent trek together. Special thanks to my wife Pam, for editing each piece and making it far better. And to my daughter Maggy, for creating the graphics for each post. Thanks, most of all, for reading along, for sharing your own experience in the comments and for helping us all to get to Bethlehem.