Once there was a stable—a dirty, smelly, noisy place. Yet it was a holy place for those with eyes to see, because there God chose to come to dwell on earth with God’s creation.
Some saw…but many passed by, turning their eyes from the dirt, closing their ears to the cry of the baby—wishing the situation would just disappear.
Today there are still dirty, smelly, noisy places. Places where the poor, the dispossessed…the hurting…have found a home, even if only temporarily.
Many of us still pass by, turning our eyes away from the squalor and dirt…closing our ears to the cries of children—God’s children.
And when we do, we fail to see those holy places where God intersects with us.
We are so certain of our knowing where God is—yet God meets us in unexpected times, unexpected places.
So open our eyes, God, to see you in those unexpected places…those people we might want to turn away from…those situations we don’t want to have to deal with, that we wish would just go away.
Open our ears, God, to hear you in the mewling cries of children whose stomachs are empty…the anguish of parents who cannot provide…the cries of those who are abused, fearful of the future…those who have lost loved ones.
Then—only then—will we understand what Christmas is all about—the hope of a new world created when we truly allow God to dwell among us. Not just two thousand years ago, but now. Today…in this moment, this place.