Let your heart take courage.
During Advent, the nativity shimmers with images of God Himself breaking into humanity. We behold a feast of peace, hope, faith, and joy – a table from which our heart can lay hold of courage this day.
There is a father, intent on divorcing his wife quietly so as not to disgrace her, who instead lays hold of faith and obeys, holding steady in the face of so much dissonance between law and grace.
There is a mother, yielding to deep unknown and pondering mystery in her heart, unable to make sense of the raw collision of flesh and heaven happening in her body, yet she yields. She lays him in a holy manger – a heavenly paradox of grime and glory.
There are shepherds, doing their job just like every other night, who are surprised by the music of a heavenly choir. Why them? Their souls are party to glorious bounty beyond any pageant or high-end event in Bethlehem that night. They come because heaven’s music is so loud they cannot help but listen.
And there is a baby. God. God with us. He came to people, beginning with these few – a confused man of faith, a young woman yielding in the dark, men on the clock who couldn’t resist the loud music. He came to you. Let your heart take courage. He is here.
Pause, listen to the angels who cry glory to God and peace to men. Peace to you. Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Take faith, take surrender, take joy. May your journeying heart feast on the bounty of God-with-us.
In wonder, believe.