Love never fails” (1 Cors 13:8)

I am occasionally accused of having a somewhat lugubrious view of life. It is true, I tend to be more an Eyore than a Tigger. But none of us is just one thing or the other. The variety of characters in A.A. Milne’s classic tales, are all voices in Christopher Robin’s head.

So, while I may be drawn to the challenging bits of the Christmas story and may resonate with the difficult parts of the journey we have just followed, I am also capable of seeing the beauty and rejoicing in the wonder of the narrative we have been pondering in our hearts through these Advent days.

Perhaps as much as any day, today is a day in which one might catch a glimpse of the light and beauty in the midst of the dark harshness that characterizes so much of life. When I pay close attention, even for me, it is hard to miss the points of light breaking through in all the darkness.

I am touched by the witness of Elizabeth and Zechariah. They refused to lose hope. They resisted the pressures and dictates of social convention and tradition. They followed faithfully that deep inner voice of truth that set the course for their lives.

I see the noble courage of Mary and Joseph. In the midst of uncertainty and danger, they made their journey; they bore the burden of their destiny and brought into the world a gift of life and truth.

My heart is stirred by the angel vision bequeathed to poor uneducated peasant shepherds who came to witness the powerful vision of light and love born in Bethlehem.

This is a story of the indomitable force of life. Despite all the powers that have sought to crush that spirit Jesus embodied, here we are today, still honouring the mystery, wisdom and vitality of this one man. We stand in a long line of those whose hearts have stirred to the truth of his life. We bear testimony to the power of goodness Jesus embodied and the force of love he unleashed in the world.

May you find this day that your heart is filled with peace and goodwill as you celebrate that birth of unending life that never fails.

Thank you for journeying with me through these days. Stay calm. Be safe and wise. Take heart and keep courage. The strength that is in us, surpasses all forces that may ever opposed the fullness of life for which we were created.

May the beauty of this season lead us to a place of deep kindness and expansive openness.

God bless you all.

(Mosaic 505 AD – Basilica Sant Appollinaire Nuovo, Ravenna Italy)