Advent is about waiting, Christmas about new beginnings.
I remember the anticipation with which Marla and I awaited the birth of our daughter Jessica. I remember the Sunday morning we woke to the beginning of labor and calling the rector to tell him that I would not be at church that morning but instead be present to Marla as she gave birth to our second child.
I remember with fondness the reaction of the congregation that morning when they learned that the baby was being born. As people gathered at Resurrection Parish that morning the news had spread, and everyone wanted to know if the baby had been born yet. But even before HIPAA laws it was hard to get the hospital staff on the phone to tell anyone anything.
Then Red came to the rescue. Now Red was a very independent man and he liked to argue a bit. (He once told me he enjoyed arguing with the IRS!) So, Red called the hospital and got to the nurse’s station in maternity. Then he told a small lie; he said he was the priest of the parish! That did the trick and the nurse stuck her head out of the cubicle and asked us, as Marla was being taken to recovery, what she should tell the priest. Marla simply said, “Tell him it is a girl!”
All of us who have had the privilege of having children have stories to tell of the birth of a baby. Most are joyful memories, while some are more challenging. As you move through the last days of Advent and into the Christmas season I do hope that you might be able to bring to mind your stories of birth, of a child perhaps or of other significant new beginnings in your life. May you recall them, and may the memories invoke in you a desire to anticipate with joy the future you are currently moving toward. May you see the opportunities for new beginnings that God invites you toward and may you know the peace and the love and the joy of Advent and Christmas.
With prayers and Blessings to you and to your family this Advent and Christmas season.
God be with you,