There is a time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war and hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.
–When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn–
Yet love still takes the risk of birth.”
I have always loved this passage. I was reminded of it just yesterday when a colleague and friend, John Cedarleaf, shared it again.
It’s almost Christmas. Things still aren’t right with our world. Far from it. And the ominous truth is that we will not have forever. There is always the limit of time. Will the world work things our? Will I get through my own mess? Will we find the space — and grace — to begin to set things right? It’s a very real question, and sometimes the answer doesn’t look all the hopeful.
And yet, when the women goes into labor — no matter how inopportune the moment — everything else will be put aside, and a child will be born. There is no other way. Life insists.
And the deepest question of our every day and whatever time we have left… is whether or not we will make time for love to be born. (One might say this is why I am a Christian — because this one question seems so point on… helps me navigate all the endless other vagaries of existence!) There are so many ways the time is inopportune. We aren’t ready. The world doesn’t make it easy. So many ways that you can make excuses. So many contra-indications.
And yet the Christian Gospel proclaims the incredible good news of great joy for all people. That God chooses to love. Loves despite all the conditions to the contrary, despite all the arguments against it. And the very real dangers. Risks loving in the flesh, a body that can be hurt and torn. Because that’s who and how God is.
Today: What would it mean for you to take the risk of loving? Will you?
Extra-credit: Read Psalm 103 at least twice today with a significant time between the two readings. What are the risks God’s taken in loving you? Are the others you would likewise take a risk for?