Like a river flowing rapidly downstream, Christmas Day arrives. After a yearlong journey Christ arrives.
At the arrival, I feel both joyful and fearful. Joy triggered by the gift of family and friends, the gift of my father’s life…his heart almost failed him, joy at witnessing the providential intervention of God over the last few weeks, joy at observing the happiness of my parents, and joy at reuniting with friends.
Yet, the feeling of joy is entwined with the feeling of fear, fear of rejection, real or imagine. Whatever it is, it is present. As the Christmas River arrives, I awake with the feeling of the fear of rejection, perhaps triggered by my long physical absence from friends and family and entertaining the thought of how I will be received. Sure, I am confident some will receive me with joy. But I have doubts that others will.
I invited the feeling of the fear of rejection into meditation and prayer. During meditation, God gifted me with the image of the dynamic flow of the river to understand deeply the arrival of His Son.
At every stage of the river’s life, it encounters obstacles – obstacles that aim to thwart its forward movement, obstacles such as rocks, land masses, or human interventions. With each obstacle the river persistently and piercingly finds a way through, around or under it.
Christ’s arrival…Christmas Day arrives…not without obstacles – rejection by the inn keeper, the threat of Herod, or the Corona Virus pandemic, the socio-economic hardships, the fear of murderers or the virus of corrupt activities.
Christmas Day arrives. Christ arrives. A bruised and battered Child arrives to a bruised and battered people, bruised, and battered by the Corona Virus pandemic.
Bruised and battered by the birth canal, by rejection from the comfort zone of the womb, and “brought” into the cruel life of humanity, the Christ Child arrives. And CRIES…cries because of rejection, because His new womb is a cruel world.
But the cries eventually turn into a SMILE of HOPE. Wrapped in a warm blanket, the Child hopes to wrap a bruised and battered people in HOPE.