this baby jesus

starofbethlehem2

i think maybe this might be the first christmas i’ve had a visceral ache as i’ve anticipated what christmas has promised. this king who has come and who is coming. the hope for now and the hope for what will be. i can feel it. unrelenting, steady, pulsating in my veins. this holy anticipation for the One who is and who was-and who is to come.

i knew something was different this year when i opened my nativity set and for the first time cried as i carefully staged the baby jesus in the center of the sheep, joseph with his hand over his heart. i couldn’t help myself. for all that it meant for them. for all that it means to me. -and all that i never got to see in real time.  what the shepherds had the privilege of beholding. i envision that night. all of it. and my heart races in anticipation for what it means to me personally and for what it means for my neighborhood. for my neighborhood all broken and abandoned. for the ballews who courageously fight continually for their daughter with special needs, her little glasses and wild blonde hair and soft skin. for the refugees who sit encamped in cold weather with little people who have tiny feet and tiny hands, waiting for asylum. for what it means for my dad, who when he was still so young and vulnerable, lost his dad.

we race around and buy so many things and send packages to here and there. we scroll through blogs and we make plans to do this better and we travel to so many places. all the while this King has come and is coming. this King who is ours. who has promised to heal all. there is hope for the children who are born in homes full of addicts in ivanhoe. there is hope for my sisters and i to one day see the grandpa we never met. there is hope for the ballews and healing for emmaus ballew. all because of Jesus.

this baby Jesus.

this Holy One.  this holy, wild shepherd-Lion. this King. who is terrifying and wonderful. mysterious and yet personally revealing. strong and relentless with no bounds. rhythmic and beautifully off-beat. steady and endless and restorative and healing. magnificent and quiet.

this rescuer of all things broken.

the LORD who will one day have the triumphant last word.

this baby Jesus.

he came so that we could have hope.

my hope is in Him today. he is my anticipation. come let us adore him. come let us expectantly hope.

***

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