Last year I posted a little Christmas homily on my Facebook page. I thought it would be nice to share it here. I’ve lightly edited it, but the message remains the same.
It was Christmas, 2020 during COVID, and I was thinking about miracles. The story goes that a baby born over 2,000 years ago became a brilliant rabbi. Even as a child he sat with the elders and held his own in their debates.
As an adult he gathered followers, traveling town to town talking about a better life, a better way, and his teaching enraged the Empire (his people’s oppressors). He died a hideous death, and some say they saw him after, that he defeated death. Whether that really happened is not important, really, only that some who follow the teachings have found a better way. (Some claim to follow the teachings, but they’ve twisted them to their own ends.)
Me, I deal in tangible miracles. A week before Christmas, I picked up an amaryllis I won in the church auction. The stalk was tall, needing some support. The bud was tightly closed, and because our windows are mostly shaded, I worried that nothing would happen. But I watered it as instructed. And on Christmas Day, changes were observable. Measurably, the bud had opened a quarter of an inch from morning to evening. And the spike in the back, not visible a week ago, had grown a half inch since that morning.
It was a miracle. A homely bulb, sunk partway into dirt and tended, sent forth amazing beauty. Imagine what could happen if simple care, and caring, were applied to all areas of living, to our communities, our country.
I’m not naive. I am aware that the forces that would cut down the stalk before allowing the bud to bloom are usually more powerful. And yet, it seems that banking on a miracle, having faith in something better, is the only way good things come about.
Now it’s Christmas, 2021. COVID is still with us, and I am grieving a deep loss.
Last year though, I watched that little miracle unfold on my hearth, in front of the one window that gets some sun. And I’m going to believe, again, that something better is on the way.
Merry Christmas, friends. The magic is still all around us.