As I felt the stress and negativity well up within me, I paused for half a second to realize that this is not an environment suibtable for welcoming a new baby, let alone the Christ child in our midst. I realized that I needed a second to put everything in perspective, so turned to the Henri Nouwen readings that have been keeping us focused this Advent. Today's reading hit me like a ton of bricks, so I thought I'd share it here:
Somehow I realize that songs, music, good feelings, beautiful liturgies, nice presents, big dinners, and many sweet words do not make Christmas. Christmas is saying "yes" to something beyond all emotions and feelings. Christmas is saying "yes" to a hope based on God's initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel. Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God's work and not mine. Things will never look just right or feel just right. If they did, someone would be lying.... But it is into this broken world that a child is born who is called Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, Savior.Amen to that!