You came to be held.

This is what I keep coming back to this Christmas. You, very God, slipping from the womb of a terrified teenage girl, wriggling, wet, squalling in the cold night. Held.

Tiny fists flailing helplessly. Eyes unfocused, not yet able to even see the world you made. Mouth grasping for nourishment. Skin wrinkled, soft, and pale. The crown of your head misshapen by your birth.

While we, the weary lost, cast our hearts upward and waited for the brilliant breaking in of Your glory, You slipped in weak among us. Yes, You rose into our dark with the brightness of a new star, and those who were watchful saw. You sang to us Your message, and those who were quiet heard. You whispered to hearts a promise to appear, and those who were waiting received.

But mostly we waited in darkness, unaware while You came. Wrapped thick in our longings, we did not know that You came to be held. You needed us. To speak to You, clothe You, feed You, touch You. You came so we would raise You up among us, teach You our ways. You, the living Word, came unable to speak and received our own language. You came to sleep under our stars, walk our dusty paths, live our simple life of longing and love.

You came to be ours so we could be Yours.

We held You. Tiny. Fragile. Beating heart, grasping fingers, hungry cry. Clumsy hearts full of pride and desire, we took You in and rejected You by turns. We wounded You as we have wounded one another since the beginning. We made You our own.

We held close Your new tiny body, and a few years later we held it again, the body that we broke. The crown of Your head misshapen by our hatred. We held in our very hands the fact of Your life and death among us.

You let Yourself be held so You could hold us.

When You slipped from our grasp and rose from us, the waiting began again. And here we are now, still wrapped in our longings, bewildered, hurting, weary hearts seeking upward for the breaking in of Your glory. When will You return? When will Your light crush this tide of darkness?

The mystery of this Advent, this waiting, is that You are coming and yet You have come. You are here with us even as we wait for You. You hold us even in our longing to see Your face, touch Your robe. You speak to us even as we fill heaven with our cries. You slip in to be with us even as we wonder where you are.

You are the One who helps us to wait for You. You come to the watchful, the quiet, the waiting. To those who look.

To those who look.

Open our hearts to see You.

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