While they were there, the time came for her delivery.
She gave birth to her first-born and wrapped him in swaddling clothes
and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.
Luke 2: 6-7
He became poor for your sake so that you might
become rich by Christ's poverty.
II Corinthinas 8: 9
As I finished decorating our Christmas tree, I placed the skirt around its base. Like many of our ornaments and decorations, the Christmas skirt was a homemade gift - this one from our first-born son, Matthew, when he was in first grade. It has graced our tree for the past 23 years! The tree skirt is beautiful in its simplicity, a stenciled scene of the first Christmas...stable and manger and trees and star.
We know the story so well. Mary gave birth to Jesus in a humble stable, symbolic that Joseph and Mary were materially poor. More than that, though, Emmanuel, God with Us, was humbled and became poor so that we might live in the richness of God's grace.
I certainly resonate with the incredible joy that Mary must have felt when she first beheld her son. Love in its purest form was born in a stable that first Christmas night.
Like Mary, we are also invited to birth love in the circumstances of our own lives, and each day we are called to make room for the One who brought abundant joy and great rejoicing.
This Christmas, may the words of 14th Century mystic Meister Eckhart be our reminder that we birth God by the love we show to our dear neighbors without distinction. The very ones for whom there is no room at the inn. This is truly Love in its purest form!
What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the Son of God
hundreds of years ago, if I do not give birth to the Son of
God in my time and my culture? We are all meant to be
Mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!