One of the blessings and problems of Christmas is all the memories – of Christmas past with family and friends that have passed on, of Christmas present without significant people, and Christmas future and it’s vision of what might be by next year. This Christmas, Sr. Wantabee could not help but think of the two little ones, the infant demises, that did not live to see Christmas day and the dashed hopes of their parents. So close and still so far.
The parents were inconsolable. The grief in the hospital room so thick. There were no memories to fall back on, only dashed hopes of twins that would play soccer with their father, of babies to be carried on the mother’s hip, of a life that would not be lived with the parents on earth.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts of Christmas is that it provides us with a memory, a memory of a savior who was born into a world about as chaotic as ours. Foreign powers and economic problems. Unfair rules displacing people. Where is a person’s home? In a stable? Into that world the Christ child arrived, seemingly as impotent as we are to resolve the issues of his day.
But memories bring comfort and joy because they somehow give us incidents that we can tie our thoughts into. The Christ child survived the horror of the “slaughter of the innocents.” He too experienced a foreign culture. He too lived with a questionable past. And he grew to adult hood, to Easter.
Sr. Wantabee looks at his story finds hope. Not the happy ever after hope that somehow God will wave a majic wand over our world and correct all the problems and suddenly people will love each other and life will be fair. It is the hope of Emmanuel, God with us, in the midst of struggles. God gave us a memory to carry us into the future, he holds. Thank you!