I watched one of those ‘review of the year’ programmes early this morning when my dog woke us all up at 6. I had remembered many things. But forgot about the eclipse. That rare sight. Only partial in the UK but still a rare moment in astronomical history. Footage of cars piled into fields to watch the moment of light to darkness and then slowly the light return with rays of red and golden sun blazing in the sky.
A rare but predictable event. Once in a lifeline but also regular as clockwork (unless it’s cloudy). Already the clock ticks down for the next one, maybe in 15 years. But at that moment in April this year, a 15 year wait was over. Then it happened in less that an hour or so, and then over again.
It’s Christmas eve and the wait is almost over. An unpredictable pregnancy became a predictable nine months of waiting. A delivery venue shifted to appease a census (though Mary neednt have gone with Joseph) . A Baby born in unfamiliar territory for Mary, though Josephs ancestral home. Then no room. No forcing of a room, Jesus birth required hospitality. Strangers from the far not received in their homeland. A homeless birth. A birth around the back. A birth not treasured.
Their wait was almost over. Was Mary as joyous then as she had been nine months earlier? Proclaiming God’s justice and faithfulness, now making do out the back of the house as a delivery suite. Maybe this happened often and it wasn’t a big deal. And they got on with it. No time but only to readjust and make it work.
The wait was almost over. The baby nearly arrived. Waiting. God communicating with humanity, interrupting the flow. Disrupting the norms, yet vulnerable, needing protection, to learn, to live and to grow.
The wait was almost over, yet another wait was just begun.
What would the baby do next? How will he live, what will he do? How will he be, what Mary sang about him?
The wait is almost over, God is tantalisingly close.
I wish and pray for you a merry Christmas.