This year, the fourth Sunday of Advent is squeezed in one day before Christmas Eve, but its message is too important to be neglected. The church’s focus remains upon Mary, the Christ bearer. Mary is the ideal image of all humanity, willing to receive and give birth to the divine through her life. In Mary’s story the image is that of actual childbirth, but in our story what does recognizing and giving birth to the divine look like? 

I think it looks like times of quiet and stillness when we sense a vibrant communion with all of life around us.

I think it looks like what Christi Brewer Allen is doing through the Church of Goodness, or what Jeff Newton, Ruth Lawson, and others are doing through the compassionate work helping the under-resourced and struggling in our city.

I think it looks like what the St. Andrew kitchen looked like last night filled with joyful people preparing a Christmas meal for others.

I think it looks like forgiveness winning over a grudge, compassion winning over apathy, acceptance and understanding winning over judgment, creativity over mockery.

I think giving birth to the divine in any life looks like a life as it was intended to be lived…in kind co-habitation with all who share their little piece of the planet.

So whether its Nazareth, Bethlehem, or Kokomo, may the divine in our life be given birth through our lives, just as it was in Mary’s.