I sit at a desk this morning, November 19th, some 950+ miles from my home. In just two short hours, my wife and I will make our way to the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, in hopes that one of the embryos that we have adopted will take root in her womb, and allow my wife the gift of birthing a child into this world.
It seems somewhat fitting to me that this is the context out of which I write this morning for this edition of the Trumpeter. For the month of December is all about hope isn’t it?
Hope that salvation is coming.
Hope that God will truly fulfill his plan for a broken, twisted and fragmented humanity in Jesus.
Hope that what happened that cold dark evening so long ago, in the little burro of Bethlehem, just may in fact be true.
I thought about Mary and Joseph a lot over the last several days. Now, let me be clear, I am in no way comparing myself to them; my wife is not carrying in her womb the Son of God. But I did think about what they must have went through.
Although Lisa and I, like Mary and Joseph, have traveled a great distance, we did it largely in comfort and ease. To be sure the car was cramped and the two days getting here were long, but at least my wife didn’t have to travel on the back of a donkey, as I slowly lead it along.
While Mary was great with child, my wife is great with the hopes of finally knowing what it is to feel a baby kick within her, perhaps much the same way Mary felt when Jesus leapt inside her when she was greeted by her cousin Elizabeth, who’s womb bore the forerunner of Jesus: John the Baptist.
Lisa and I are in Knoxville out of our own free will; no tyrannical dictator demanded that we come to be counted. Yet there is a purpose for us, just as there was a purpose for them.
Yet much like Mary and Joseph, hope births within us this morning. Not just the hope of having a baby, although that is a powerful pull on both of us. But, rather, the hope that we as a people might realize we are part of a magnificent story. A story in which we, human beings, who are the grand antagonists, destined to have our on way and be our own gods, are pursued by a divine love that is strong enough to demonstrate itself in weakness; to allow love to seep in, instead of cramming it down our throats, demanding that we respond.
Whether Lisa and I are able to have a baby or not, we this day, sit, saturated in the presence of this amazing, strong, powerful, all-consuming love, that demonstrated itself most fully in the frailty of a child, a baby, an embryo infused with divinity and humanity.
So won’t you hope with us this Christmas too? Hope that this year, we might truly allow ourselves to be embraced by the powerful weakness of this birth of divine love in Jesus.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only, flesh and bone, soul and spirit, that we might have hope. This is our peace. Amen.