Daily Bread December 23

The Promise of New Birth
Shandra Newcom of Boulder, CO, USA

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. -Psalm 89:1-2

It’s an exciting experience, waiting for a baby to be born. It seems to be a slow process and yet, before you know it, there they are-emerging as a beloved child of God bringing light and life into the world. During this often chaotic time of uncertainty, it helps to know that we are blessed to be waiting on the birth of babies.

My family is expanding any time now. A new baby is coming and, after six months of “sheltering in place,” I’m looking forward to the joy and promise that comes with new life. I look forward to being an aunt. To holding new life. I’ve been living in a “bubble” in my home in order to be available to this child.

I rest in the promise that comes with birth. I trust that which is being born and look forward to welcoming this baby into my life, which will never be the same.

Trust takes dedicated attention. We remember the stories of those who have gone before and turn toward that which will be. During this time of Advent we see before us all that is possible: compassion, hope, a deep sense of love. However, we also recognize those things that hold us back: fear, individualism, systemic injustice.

In the midst of all of that, I have to believe that the world that is opening and waiting for babies can be a place of hope and promise. Even though it feels like the world has stopped, it keeps turning and embracing the new life being born.

This is the world as God created it to be-open to babies. Of course, we know that the baby Jesus was born into a world that, while desperately needing his message of God’s love for all, for the most part wouldn’t be able to hear it. But all that story, for us as we move into Advent, belongs in the not-yet.

For now, we have the promise of a baby born with mangers and animals and shepherds and a star.

The baby that will be born any day now into my family and into my arms will, of course, not have the same story as the Christ-child. But they will share something powerful: the ability to call and act God’s reign into being. We all share that ability. And it is in that promise that we must trust that which is being born: the peaceful reign of God.

It is no less than that to which we are called.

Prayer Phrase

“Trust what is being born.”

Spiritual Practice

Jesus, the Peaceful One

We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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