|It was an old world, a weary world. It was a world of nightmares and yet a world in which a dream had not died. A dream of love and peace, a hope for justice and kindness.
It was a world that had almost forgotten to expect anything or anyone new. It was a world governed by the ambition of an empire, the craven patterns of living in a colony of this empire.
And so we, like they so many years ago, follow the predictable paths of apparently normal lives. We expect things might get a little worse and sometimes a little better. The numbness of the normal.
And yet among us there are those who bear the dream of something new, of the possibility of someone new. They bear the memory and hope of birth.
The gospel stories of the birth of Jesus take shape within the suffering of centuries, they are written on the winds of memory. They are stories about the small yet persistent possibility of something or someone new. They are the dangerous memories of birth and rebirth.
The dream of another way of being is as small and fragile as a baby. The child struggles to be born, the parents of this small hope struggle to bring it into the world. A few, those who are poor and who have nothing left but hope, recognize hope when they see it. Then as now, those who no longer expect anything from the empire are able to recognize hope – and love – when they see it.
This is a time to welcome the possibility of newness in our lives and in our world. It is a season to welcome the newcomers, whether they be babies or refugees, who arrive in our old world. They burst upon our lives as the promise of another way of being.