Grace and Peace to you.
In the dark of a cold night, on the edge of a dusty little one-pump town at the far end of the Roman Empire, an angel sings. It’s a quiet little song, about bringing love into the world. Then a newborn baby cries. It’s an ordinary cry, and it is the sound of God with us. The mother takes up the cry, for they are homeless, and she loves her baby. The father is in a state of complete wonder, and he joins in and starts singing.
Shepherds nearby are fascinated, the way onlookers are at a flash mob—but then they join in the God-is-with-us song. It’s beautiful. Angels join the chorus, doing this really cool dance, and singing glory. They sing glory in the highest heaven, and they sing peace on earth. Anna and Simeon take up the tune in the temple. And soon the pillars of the temple are rocking and swaying. And the animals about to be sacrificed are nodding and shouting ”Amen!”
And then Magi from the east come waltzing in with swirlly robes and wicked cool hats, doing this really amazing whirling dervish and singing, “God is with us! Glory!” Herod and his security forces with their pepper spray come in and try to bust it up, but the magi lead them off into the parking lot and the dance goes on. Then people all over Judea are doing it, lepers singing like angels and paralytics dancing around in their wheelchairs, and Roman soldiers, all singing glory. Around the corner, behind a pillar, Pharisees are secretly doing it a little, just a little, kind of from the neck up, and humming along, and taking lots of videos.
People in prisons join in the song. It echoes a lot because of the cells. People in exile join in, and refugees, and the crowd is getting huge. People in hospice care and on death row are singing, everybody singing glory. Whole races are singing, whole continents dancing. Then the wind is singing and dancing, and trees waving their arms, and hurricanes whirling around, and cloud formations dancing and dancing. Then galaxies join in, whirling around with their arms flung out and singing glory, until the whole universe is dancing glory and singing “God is with us!” And you begin to feel like you’re the only one who hasn’t joined in yet.
And then the glory vanishes into the world and the angels disappear into the crowd. And the next day people get up and get their coffee and go to work and do their ordinary things, and the world goes on. But that baby is still out there somewhere, and that tune swirling around in your heart.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes