Sunday, December 18, 2016

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord; His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.

Lord, You have been our refuge from one generation to another. Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born, from age to age you are God. Psalm 90:1–2

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

In 1884, James Wells, Moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland in his book The Parables of Jesus tells the story of a little girl carrying a big baby boy. Seeing her struggling, someone asked if she wasn't tired. With surprise she replied, "No, he's not heavy; he's my brother." -Wikipedia

And yeah, I know that the Hollies song has brought tears to millions of eyes over the years, and I remember joining them, weeping as it played on my eight track player while I sat in my white beanbag chair in my hot pink and orange bedroom in the middle of high school angst, but indeed, the road is long.

And heartache abounds.

My own heart aches with the belovedness of each child of His.

Yesterday was full of odd yet beautiful celebrations of God With Us: the Syrian Sweet Exchange where hundreds gathered in a church parking lot to buy amazing edibles crafted by Syrian refugees so very far from their now rubbled home, selling hot dogs and hot apple cider with the brothers and sisters at the African Methodist Episcopal church to the huddled-under-a-big-blanket masses lining the streets for the Festival of Lights parade, and without-a-plan (beyond what key each song would be sung in) wandering the back neighborhood by candlelight with friends and family caroling “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh…Everette and Cole were the official doorbell ringers and then Everette twirled about in her Fairy Angel with the Wand costume as Cole dressed as Spiderman did the twist to “Away in the Manger.”

But I told Nicole that my morning of wading through that huge stack of eighth grade lab journals and dozens of poorly written conclusions on pH indicators and polar covalent bonding was actually an act of worship of God With Us.

Each child of His, beloved. 
My brother.

And we are His hands and feet, carrying our brother on this long winding road.

One thing I learned on the Camino that I had absolutely no idea what lay beyond the curve up ahead, on this long and winding road.

But He did, and does, and forever will.

Age to age.

He is.

I AM.

And today at church, as in churches across the nation and across the world today, the children are dressing up like angels and shepherds and sheep and marching up to the stage to sing “Joy to the World” with the congregation as Mary and Joseph and a nestled Simone kneel in front of a box stuffed with straw and ponder the great mystery.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men, the multitude of angels announced.

Fear not.

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

And last night Cameron led us in verse after verse of fairly unfamiliar words once we got beyond the chorus, but words which have spoken truth and hope to countless souls. From age to age. And at one house the woman ran out with plates of cookies.


Fear not.