The spirit of God the Holy One is upon me,
       because God has sent me
   to bring good news to the oppressed,
       to proclaim liberty to the captives,
   to comfort all who mourn….
—Isaiah 61.1-2

The coming of Christ is no sentimental visit;
it is an incursion on our empire of cruelty,
insurrection against our apathy and injustice.

The babe in the manger upends our world,
and asks our hand in its upending,
to resist evil in small, fragile ways.

Some people deny suffering; some profit from it;
and some heal—not merely tending the wounded
but ending the battle.

The Incarnation of the Word is not history;
the Word of Love is made flesh whenever we love,
whenever we act for healing or justice.

The Spirit of God is upon us
to be a healing presence in a wounded world,
knowing the Emperor fears the child.

God comes, love made flesh, tender
but willing, with grace and love,
and occupies our trauma, and transforms it:

in the harsh winter a turning,
on a moonless night a welcoming manger,
at the foot of the empire a dangerous babe.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

December 11, 2020

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