By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 12, ‘a sign for you: …a babe… lying in a manger’
Sometimes the signs we seek might be in front of us—but we miss them because
they are not the signs we think they ought to be. The angel tells the shepherds their
announcement of the good news is authenticated by a homeless infant. How can
something so powerless, so weak, be the sign of something so powerful, so great?
This is not the kind of sign we are looking for, but it is the kind of sign that God gives.
It reminds us that the politics of God—the merciful way of organizing power, resources, and even ourselves as people—begins and ends among those who are most often
left out and excluded. This is how God comes to save us all—in the fragile flesh of the
poorest and powerless. To ignore this sign is to ignore God’s great desire to save us,
to heal us, to give us new and abundant life. This sign points to other signs, that God
is still found in those forgotten by our secular, this-worldly politics: women, children,
and those without homes, as in the nativity itself. Can we see signs of life where we
expect only death, hope where we presuppose hopelessness? Can we see our own
fragile but beloved humanity in the humanity of our sisters and brothers—can we see
there, in the eyes of others, the face of God?
God of the poor, help us see the signs of your presence with us.