Christmas Midnight Mass

It’s here. Whether our advent waiting has grown as heavy as a filling womb or has raced and jittered headlong to a distracted end. Either way it’s here: the close of waiting and the opening of wonder. Because the “it” is a “he”. And, suddenly, we have far less than we wanted and far, far more. We wanted a God to fill our shortfall, to release our captives, to bind up our wounds—how can we not be disappointed: “you give me this? beautiful, yes, delicate, wondrous, yes, but this? ”
Here, on our hands, is a child—fresh with blood and membrane and yelling for his very life. Who wants a God you can touch? Not like this—vulnerable, demanding, hungry, needy.
A baby to change things. He has to be cared for—not now and then when the mood takes but always, constantly, incessantly. God demanding to be held; crying to be fed; needing to be touched—his flesh pressed to our flesh. Our God needs us. Cannot live without us.
So we pick him up. Gently, hesitantly. Cradle his head. Breath held. Gaze. He is warm. Smells … with that scent of new-babies. He weighs fragile and breathing in the crook of an arm. And, though they say they can’t, he looks—violet eyes find you, hold you. Tiny fingers curl; grasp. New life wriggles, rests, turns to you. A heartbeat echoes your own. His hand touches you. A delicate blessing.
There should be firelight. There should be angels. And kings.
Well, he has us. You and me and him. And candlelight. Carols. Hopes. Promises. Dreams. Lullabies. God touches us.