Reflection—v. 7, ‘She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son…’
When I was a little girl, my best friend used to tell her birth story. She would start by saying, ‘It was a dark and stormy night, and I was zooming in!’ I always took it as a joke. But there may have been some truth in the story that ‘Zoomer,’ as she was affectionately called by her father, used to recite. Birth stories usually start before any of us is born, but they also offer a glimpse of the life set before us, a foreshadowing of what is to come: she kicked so hard, I knew she’d be an athlete; we tried for so long, this will be the most loved person to ever live; his mother died in the process, and he has her eyes; each of her six siblings got to choose a name for her; her mother was alone. Jesus’ narrative is surprisingly simple: born in a barn, visited by poor strangers. Perhaps then it is not so surprising how his life will unfold.
Jesus, our Savior, on this day in which we celebrate your birth, let me not wrap my praise in tinsel and glitter, forgotten for another year, but open my heart anew to welcome you in the outcast and the stranger.