Editorial

Musing on Christmastime

By Rev. LAURIE STUART
Posted 12/21/21

I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I think about her journey to Bethlehem in the middle of chaos, at her time of delivery. I imagine her anxiety, her concern, as well as that of Joseph’s …

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Editorial

Musing on Christmastime

Posted

I think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I think about her journey to Bethlehem in the middle of chaos, at her time of delivery. I imagine her anxiety, her concern, as well as that of Joseph’s by her side. And I think of all of us with our own worry, fatigue, and own sense of uncertainty in the world. Surely the signs do not point to peace on earth, good will to all. Surely there is much that is inhospitable in our world in this moment.

So I wonder whether we are all being called to be that heroic Mary figure. Pregnant with possibility that we might birth a new way. A new way of loving in the world, caring for the world, caring for each other.

At this time of upheaval and holiday spirit I hope for you to have the fortitude to remember that when the status quo is in upheaval, that is the time that transformation is most possible.

The Rev. Theresa Ninán Soto paints a journey and provides a guiding light to lead us back to our communities and that which we value in our hearts.

A Christmas poem
By Theresa Ninán Soto
It doesn’t seem like much.
One emperor, one mandate,
one census, two young people
traveling. And a young woman
pregnant and feeling, every
bump on the road, every
vertebra of the laden donkey.
And arriving to their destination,
late in the purple night, lit by
one bright star and so many
cold shoulders. No, they said.
No room here. Not good news
for someone so near, and what
about the backache and the
contractions, near to giving
birth. And sometimes that
moment is exalted as the
advent-arrival of the liberator.
But the truth is that dullness
of heart, flatness of courage
is the same as the no, the
same as cold shoulders,
rolling eyes
and doors blithely thrown
shut. No angel, no astrologer
no star and no sheep can
convince a heart closed to
the natural yes of people
around us, neighbor, kin
and about to be friend.
what can we liberate if
we cannot see the journey
as an example of our own?
throw open the door. make
ready the space. love as though
there is no other medicine.
what if you are not a righteous
innkeeper, but instead the
manger, the stable, the
haven of rest?

Theresa Ninán Soto is the lead minister of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland and the author of “Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience.” “A Christmas Poem” is reprinted with permission.

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