There is a sign at the sight of Thee. There is none beside Thee.
This year has been a reckoning, a humbling. Each day and every breath, a reminder of your mercy and our own mortality. This year, we have lived our own Massacre of Innocents. In advance of this holiday, we were informed anew of the cruelty inhabiting Earth and of the compassion it will take to overcome it. In every telling of your origin story, the most improbable point for me has been that a king would slaughter many in an effort to obliterate one, that a man of great might could feel so strangely threatened by children.
I need no longer imagine.
This year, You have been a sickle, gathering unto Yourself those we’ve loved. Though we know there is no better place for them than with you, exulting in this has not been easy. Even as we commemorate God’s infinite love made manifest in You, we, like the parents of Bethlehem, are haunted by loss.
It is our charge, then, as this trying year begins to finally recede, to restore our faith in the Incarnation, to reclaim whatever wonder has slipped from our grasp.
The beauty of your birth must never be blotted by our sorrow. That You have come to us and that You continually pine for the renewal of our faith are gifts whose value cannot be measured. That You are able, morning by morning, to transmute our misery and usher in the kind of love we could no longer imagine, is the reason we rise each year on this holiday and proclaim you holy.
You are what we cannot be.