At the heart of the coming Advent and Christmas seasons is Emmanuel, literally meaning “God with us.” As we enter again into this holy time of year, I share the reflection below from Dan Hooper. Dan was a former colleague—a talented musician, gifted writer, and wonderful human being—who died expectedly and too soon in 2010. I always think of Dan this time of year and offer this in tribute to him.
Miracles At Christmas
It was a miracle of agreement. Either Mary or Joseph could have said, “No.”
It was a miracle the couple arrived in Bethlehem.
The journey was difficult and she should have been resting.
It was a miracle they found shelter. The town was full of strangers waiting to be counted.
It was a miracle the infant was welcomed and healthy.
Every birth is a miracle, but not all births are welcomed, and not all infants are healthy.
It was a miracle that shepherds listened when angels sang.
It was a miracle that the stars were seen, understood and followed by wise men from afar.
The stars are always in motion, but not all mark them with wisdom.
It was a miracle that the story survived for us to hear. An angry king tried to squelch it.
It is a miracle that we can see God present in human form.
To think that unconditional love chose to share the human condition!
It is a miracle that God is present in human life.
Equally miraculous—human life has been changed by one infant’s birth.
Every birth changes a family, but this one changed the world.
For when we consider all the sorts and conditions of humankind,
all the chances this story had to go off track,
all the darkness that surrounds this profound light:
We understand that the true miracle of Christmas is Love—
Love that moves through the universe in order to be with us
so that we may start to know the Love that lives in each of us.
Emmanuel – God with us!
- Daniel Lee Hooper, 2009