Thursday, 25 December 2008

Called by Name - When a Child is born

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.

Romans 10:8 (The Message)

The Word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest.


If I hear ‘How long have you got?’ one more time – someone will get hurt.

A week, actually…The longest week of my life.

Never mind the nine months that went before; the planning; the waiting and wondering; the ‘Yes!’; the thrill of telling everyone; the realisation that there is no going back.

Never mind the sickness; the spreading waistline; the doctor’s appointments; the scans; the bloodtests (I’m scared of needles); worrying about results; the realisation that I really am pregnant.

Never mind the ever-spreading ‘everything’, insomnia and nesting urges; reading horror stories; writing birth plans; imagining all kinds; making space; finding room; the realisation that somehow, soon, you will be born.

Because, really, I’d be quite happy for you to stay right where you are: to carry on being ‘the Bump’. I’ve got used to being this shape; living in a pregnancy time zone; cradling your weight in my arms; resting my cup of tea on your bottom (or head); trying to identify if it’s an elbow or a knee that’s trying to make it’s escape. We are two but we are one, we are self-contained and complete - a perfect relationship, perfect love, perfect belonging. You are, already, all I have ever wanted.

But you are growing; you need your own ‘space’; to become more; to find your own place in the world. So in a few days you will make that journey; become ‘real’; become separate. We will look into each other’s eyes and see ourselves, I will smell your skin and know you forever, I will hear you cry and feel your pain. And I will still know you inside me – an eternal umbilical cord of love between us.

And no matter what the future, the distance, the trials and triumphs of the years ahead, that will not change. When I think of you, when I want to be near you I won’t have to phone or travel, I will simply have to close my eyes, put my hand on my stomach and remember - you were here and part of you will never leave.

‘When a child is born…’

When you think about it – it is not a normal way for a God to meet his worshippers. We are used to the idea of fire and brimstone not a God that cries out, like any new born infant, to his mother.

God is all and everywhere, there is no place, no thing, no time where God is not; and yet we still search. We believe we do not find God or He does not find us because we are not worthy; Paul tells us we are temples, we are holy places. Who lives in a holy place, but God?

John tells us – ‘In the Beginning was the Word’, and we don’t understand, we don’t listen. Jesus was not ‘created’ to bring us salvation; he was always there, always here. But we chose not to recognise him.

Through Mary’s pregnancy and the birth of her son, God made the gesture that said ‘Look, here is where I am, inside you; as a child lives within its mother. That close, that integrated, that co-joined; that interdependent. Mother and Child, inside and out – every cell, every drop of blood - a bond that can never be broken.

A message that was so important for us to hear, to believe, to understand that God chose to leave the deep, untouchable space within, to give us the Christ Child, to take on our humanity so that he could guide us back to Himself, to the centre, to the core – as close as the heart in your chest.

Take some time to consider the love of a God who wants to lie in our arms, and at the same time wrap his arms around us. Think about what it means to be in that relationship. Do you believe this? If so, do you share this with others, if not what is stopping you from accepting this love? Is there anything you and God can do about it?

Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.


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