Yesterday I went out to pick up a few things from the grocery store on my street. An older man at the store – I think it was the manager, a guy everyone calls “Primo” – was being handed a young boy, maybe 2 years old. As soon as the little boy walked over he started giggling and smiling in his lovely baby talk. Primo smiled, I smiled, all of the customers at the entrance smiled at this little boy and his contagious laughter.
As I walked through the aisles I heard several employees, as they were stocking shelves and sweeping floors, smiling and mentioning “el nino” (I can’t figure out how to get the ~ to show up over the n, lo siento.) When I turned my final corner of the store, there was the little guy again, being taken around by who I assume was his grandfather or great uncle or someone, smiling and being smiled at. It was like the presence of this little one had transformed the entire vibe of the store – a magical moment. But more than magic – the joy was palpable, and all emanating from the presence of this tiny 2-year-old boy who had no idea the effect he was having on everyone else.
Here’s the scripture that caught my eye today, this last day of Advent 2019:
From Psalm 46:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be overthrown;
God shall help her at the break of day.
The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken;
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.
So this is the final word from me in this Advent series. The power of a baby is the power of the Divine. The power that holds us together is the power that allows us to light up in the presence of newborn. The power of joy and connectedness often – or always – seems as though it will be ultimately overthrown, that it is ultimately weaker than the powers of violence, hate, and despair.
But the Christian message of Advent insists differently – that the weak and vulnerable power that a baby so effortlessly embodies is the power that holds up the cosmos. Let’s not be deceived otherwise – it is that vulnerability that will (if it does and if we allow it to) save us from ourselves.
Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas, friends. I haven’t decided yet how to continue this blog post-Advent – I’m enjoying it so much, but probably can’t commit to writing daily in the foreseeable future. Maybe once/week? Will think it over. As for now, time to bake some cookies and prepare the home for Christmas morning.