I stumbled upon a fragment from a poem entitled After Annunciation by Madeline L'Engle. These few lines have been an unexpected path to Bethlehem for me:
This is the irrational season,.
When love blooms bright and wild
Ha Mary been filled with reason,
There have been no room for the child
The irrational season... what a different way to describe Christmas. As a [reacher, I spend a lot of time making the miraculous and mysterious seem reasonable. I'm only following Peter's advice when he writes ...be always ready to give an answer to every man that asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you . (1 Peter 3:15)
So how old was Mary when she had Jesus? Were there three wise men or three gifts? Did God make a special star for the occasion of Jesus birth or can astronomy explain the phenomenon naturally? Why would angels visit homeless shepherds? Why would God ever think that squeezing into swaddling clothes was the best way to save the world? Good questions, but their answers lave the manger mostly empty. In fact, you can talk until Easter and still not fully explain it all.
What stands out in Jesus birth story is not the cold, hard logic of why it had to be this way, but the daring leaps that God, Mary, Joseph, and all the rest of the cast made in order to give us Christmas. This year, I need less explanation and more participation in this love love blooming bright and wild.
If you are looking for Jesus, you may want to leave the bifocals of science and philosophy in the drawer. Instead, through prayer, song and deed, fill your days with bright bursts of love for God and others. Many report that in the practice of spontaneous praise and irrational generosity, angels, wise men, and especially Jesus have been sited.