Emma started an Instagram page for Wylie aptly named Wylie's Warriors if you are interested in following her. Upon the first post, a woman reached out who is pregnant with a son who has trisomy 18 like Wylie. In an instant, I can remember being pregnant. The waiting and wondering are seared into my memory. I sympathize with this mother's desire to connect with parents who understand the wait and the weight.
This, of course, points us to the season through which we now travel--Advent which means "coming." We wait because there is Someone on His way, something getting ready to happen. Pregnancy and Advent have a lot in common.
Three years ago, I purchased Cindy's Rollins' Hallelujah: A Journey through Advent with Handel's Messiah, and I will never be the same. Her little book guides an observant through the Scriptures of the Messiah. Through her guidance, I have begun listening to the Messiah each Christmas time.
As I have listened, two paradoxes have stirred my thoughts. One, the God of peace terrorizes people and two, the God of light emerges from darkness.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire...
Yes, certainly! When the Lord of Hosts announced the good news of Jesus' birth, the shepherds fell down in terror! The idea of a furnace is fitting. Who could stand up to the searing blast of a smelter's flame? No one, not one could stand upright in the face of such blistering heat.
He is terrifying this One announced, "Savior, Christ the Lord." He upends kingdoms. He confounds earthly rulers. A baby born among animal filth, dreams of fleeing, and a whole town of slaughtered little boys mocks "Silent Night."
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Out of darkness, gross darkness, comes Light. He functions in the darkness. His Spirit hovered over the darkness when there was no world yet. He came to Abram in the darkness, pointed to the heaven's stars to exhibit the extent of His blessing, and sealed His promise while Abram slept. He rescued the families with the lamb's blood over their doorframe during the night of the first Passover. When Jesus hung on the cross, a thick darkness rolled over the witnesses. Here, in this birth, darkness, gross darkness, but Light!
In this birth story, I can learn to embrace the terrifying One who comes in peace. Though He is fierce and fiery, He is Peace. When I am uncomfortable about facing the truth about myself, people around me, Peace has come. Jesus is moving me toward reconciling the pieces to restore the whole.
When darkness looms and even engulfs, I know Light is coming because even darkness is light to Jesus. I say to the one who knows Jesus that you do not need to be terrified of His movement, His upending, or the darkness in which He works. Embrace these paradoxes of our Peace and Light. His way results in new birth. Who need fear a baby?