The older we become, the more our own cracks show and refuse to be hidden behind the commercial blaze of lights, wrapping, and ribbons. They ask us if we are willing to put away these childish things and begin learning what it is to truly love. To love is not to turn a blind eye to each others' faults, but rather to make the choice that we will not walk out the door in response to those faults. We will stay near, if we can. And we will not just stay; we will try -- oh, we will try -- to enter into the whole tangle of sin and repentance and striving until it is better. We will enter into the storm, holding forth our battered vision of the way things can be. We will refuse to let each other give up on that vision, though we may need to take turns bearing it.
We only have the strength to try because some 2000 years ago God chose to not walk out the door on us. He came near, He held up the vision of His hope for us and spent His blood to make that hope a certainty. He began to heal and told us that one day all these things shall be well -- one day anger and disappointment will no longer plague families. Passive aggression will not destroy friendships. Greed and poverty will not blind our hearts to the image of God in every person. Bodies will not be sold and abused. The mistakes in our pasts will no longer enslave us to regret and despondency, because the wonderful, mighty, everlasting prince of the universe became one of us and loved us unto death.
Rejoice! Emmanuel came, and will come again.