Christmas Eve Meditation

My meditation tonight is a story based on a sermon by Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, called, “God’s Daring Plan.” [Bread of Angels, Cowley Publications, 1997] Rabbis in early Judaism would ask questions about a text or story in the Bible and they might answer it with another story.  This story is based on Dr. Taylor’s way of telling a story to imagine what happened on Christmas Eve.

The Gift of Love

December 24, 2011 Christmas Eve

God had made more difficult decisions. That decision to flood the world back in Noah’s time was very controversial. Some of the archangels thought God was going way too far, threatening baby seals and really messing with the environment. They had argued for a more focused message, like signs to encourage people to pick up their trash. They liked the rainbow sign, though.  They thought that was a nice touch.

Some of the other archangels on the council had disagreed back then. They thought letting any of those rebellious, war-obsessed, self-centered creatures survive was a major mistake and God should scrap the whole experiment and start fresh.

Yes, God had made more difficult decisions. But this decision to be born as a baby human into that very world God had made and re-made, this was proving to be one of the most controversial of all time!

God had come up with the idea himself and at first only talked to Michael about it. “Those babies are so cute,” God said. “I think people might finally come around this time. Babies are the best.  They don’t go to war. They don’t make hate speeches or litter or refuse to play with each other because they’re from different political parties. I could see myself warm and cuddly in some of those swaddling clothes. I could really see myself as one of those delightful creatures.  And people might start to understand what I have in mind for this creation I made.”

When God told the whole cabinet about the idea, though, they were not nearly as excited about it. At first they got really quiet. Then one of the archangels spoke up, “Don’t get me wrong, God. I usually think you have pretty good ideas. I really liked that time when you parted the sea to let your people escape from the Egyptian taskmasters.  That was brilliant. Maybe we could do something like that again. We definitely need to do something. Those human creatures have pretty much forgotten who you are and what you’re about completely.”

One of the other archangels got up and argued that it really was too dangerous down there on earth for any human baby, let alone one born into one of the poorest places in the world. “There are people down there who are really hungry, God. Lots of people. Folks have completely forgotten that there’s enough for everyone. Maybe if you had some super-powers or something! You could make bread out of stones and feed everybody. That would give them something to talk about.”

Another archangel who had been quiet cleared her throat. “At least, if you’re going to go down there, God, go to someplace safe. Go to one of those gated communities where they monitor everybody who’s coming and going. That neighborhood you’re looking at is really dicey. Folks around there fight all the time. You could get yourself killed!”

The council thought they had won the argument at that point, but when they looked around, they saw God walking out of the room. When they got up to follow, they stopped short as they got to the door. There was a big hole in the sky that they almost fell through. A star was blazing in the sky and there were shepherds looking up at them with stunned expressions on their faces.

The angels looked back at the shepherds. They were just as stunned, but they tried not to let the shepherds know it. They tried to look out of the corners of their eyes to see where God went, and they thought maybe they should say something.

Just then, they heard a baby cry from right underneath the star, and the angels sighed deeply. Michael stepped forward and said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

And the angels began to sing:


Responsive hymn: 238 Angels We Have Heard on High