We’re in week two of the Advent season, and the theme is love.
I wonder if love often starts small and grows big. I mean, I see big gestures of love and that’s awesome. But love doesn’t often start big and stay big, at least not that I most often experience it.
But starts are hard. Starting something new is scary. Meeting someone new is scary. Starting a project is scary.
For instance, it’s tough just to start my research paper for my online Immigration and Religion in America class. You might say “It’s not that bad,” to which I would offer, “People in America, leaders in America, are talking about registering Muslims just because of their faith, and Syrian refugees need a place to live and sleep and work, and this was supposed to be an easy 1/2 credit class!!”
I’ve never been great at starting papers, or projects, or new things. But once I’m into them, I’m pretty good at charging forward.
It’s tough to spot God’s love for us sometimes too. Was that- Did I just- Did you-
Is that God’s love right there? Did you see that too?
It would be easy to miss. It was hiding in a stable (or a cave) – not the usual place that women deliver babies. It was hiding in the arms of the kind of person who you would least expect to be holding the King of Kings and Lord of Lords: an unwed teenage mother.
The incarnation, God’s love for the world, in this little baby named Jesus, started small. But just because it started small, doesn’t mean that it didn’t grow and grow, to be a love so big that we can’t see the end of it.
The world needs this small start of love. We celebrate love incarnate at Christmas as God came and experienced the full range of the human experience through the person of Jesus.
But God, if you are incarnate, where are you? Where are you manifest today in this dark world?
I don’t want to miss the universe’s biggest surprise: through the tiniest, most vulnerable being, came God’s own Son, bringing salvation and light to all, all, not just some. Not just those people. Not just these people. Not just the people proclaiming #blacklivesmatter. Not just the people proclaiming #alllivesmatter. Not just those who are for welcoming Syrian refugees. Not just those who are against Syrian refugees. The reach of this light obliterates our perceptions of “us vs. them” because in God, there is no boundary between God’s love and the world, God’s own good creation. We will share and proclaim this Advent and Christmas that in this baby, this world just became a little bit brighter.
Even though it’s hard to see the start, in a world full of fear, love is in all of this.