“And every Christmas I go back to the scene where it all started and ask once more: ‘Can I bear you again? Can I be your midwife, your mother, your wet nurse, your nanny—anyone; someone who will nurture the birth of Love on earth and goodwill toward all man?’ ” –Erika Morrison
There is a heavy weight that bears down over our shoulders on Christmas Eve, like the one Erika describes here as she reflects on what it means to get through Advent to the actual birth of Jesus.
The weight may be that we have to stuff our children’ stockings after they go to bed, getting everything ready for the arrival of St. Nicholas and his abundance of goodies.
Or maybe it’s a different weight that we carry,
the weight of caring for humankind,
the weight of providing a space for the Savior Child to come out of His mother’s womb and into our spaces again,
for another year to be marked on the calendar,
another sign to keep us going on the way to the Kingdom.
We’ll have a Christmas Eve meal together tonight, and while we sit around the table and laugh and talk and enjoy an abundance of food,
every now and then, things go quiet, and if you catch it,
you’ll feel it,
the way it felt that long night of contractions and heavy sighs,
that long darkness under the shining star that led everyone to
His little throne of straw.
We are the ones who are asked to nurture Love on earth and goodwill toward all man, aren’t we?
We are the ones who carry the weight,
the ones who are tangible flesh,
the tangible flesh of today
who have hands to reach
and pockets to empty
and kind words to give
when everything is hatred and prejudice
swirling in the air around us.
We carry the weight tonight.
We sit beside Mary and birth the Infant Savior into our midst,
release His Spirit back again
into our flesh and bones and blood.
Carry the weight,
and let it bring the Love and goodwill out of you,
and miracle of all miracles,
promise of all promises
we’ll finally, one day,
see Kingdom actually come,
that Infant-King bringing all things into
His holy and right reality
before our very eyes.