Advent Reflection – December 14, 2013 – by Jean Padula

GS-Christ-child-Stokes-L“We do not fall in love with concepts or theological ideas (although some do try)); persons fall in love with other persons. In a weak little child, God is both perfectly hidden and perfectly revealed—and fully lovable.” Richard Rohr

At this particular time of year every baby I see triggers thoughts of the Christ child and serves as a reminder to me of the reason we’re all rushing from chore to chore, and store to store trying to create the perfect Christmas for our loved ones.

Actually, regardless of the season, I enjoy observing babies, the little ones in my own life and any others who happen to cross my path. Each melts my heart. I love to look into those eyes which look back at me so intently. Much wisdom appears to be locked into each tiny package. So many talents and skills will emerge and grow to fruition as he or she observes, records and develops. What an unfolding miracle it is – the blossoming of this totally dependent little being into a contributing, capable adult with a place in the world and an important destiny to fulfill.

The birth of any baby should be enough of a miracle to send the world into joyful celebration. But this is the time of year we focus on one particular indescribably special infant. Two thousand years ago an utterly vulnerable babe was born to a humble, guileless maiden. She became for us the consummate model of trust and obedience. He became our savior. Through this “babe in the manger,” this precious little portal, God flooded the world with hope, evidence of His faithfulness to His word and His goodness.

Our pleasant nativity scene reflections always nestle in the shadow of the most amazing development ever – God assuming the form of a human so that He could take our sins to the cross in our place. There’s a scripture in Colossians which I particularly appreciate because it so beautifully describes the immensity of the unfolded miracle of our sweet nativity baby.
Colossians 1:15-20
The Message (MSG)

Christ Holds It All Together

15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

– By Jean Padula


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