Inviting the Light: Hidden in Plain Sight*
By the Rev. Carole Wageman
Author’s Note: My thanks to our Diocesan Communications Minister, Maurice Harris, for inviting me to share in a monthly reflection series I have entitled “Inviting the Light.” These monthly reflections will delve into the lives of people from Scripture and ponder how their unique experiences with God invite our own consideration of how that Holy Spirit shows up in our life stories as well. I hope you will enjoy traveling the journey with those from Scripture who have pondered the mystery of God as much as we do.
Christmas is a paradox. Oh, most of us easily get caught up in the gift giving, the hustle and bustle, wrapping, decorating, the special music and performances that go along with this season, but at its heart, Christmas is a paradox: a god of power and might finding refuge in a feed trough, and angelic messengers who don’t seek out the rich and famous, just shepherds minding their own business keeping careful watch over their sheep––one of the lowliest occupations of the day. Yet they are the ones who encounter the mystery, majesty, and awe of God on the loose. A package of human frailty not much bigger than a generous loaf of bread whose life, death, and resurrection was intended to put us in a living relationship with Divine Love. Then there is the Holy Family: Mary—pregnant and unwed––stuck between a rock and a hard place. Joseph––wanting to quietly distance himself from her embarrassing situation––is the one who needs a bit of angelic convincing to finally pay attention to God at work in his life. Both plucked out of obscurity and simple lives. Each of them surprised by God and called unexpectedly to play a unique role in the history of the world. Remember also the Magi, traveling miles across foreign lands following what they thought was their true destination only to find they were in the wrong place at the right time. Following a star that influenced them only to realize the destination was beyond their control.
God was yearning for personal connection with his creation and chose a baby to deliver that message. Human vessels, so flawed, fragile, and prone to failure by their very nature, were chosen by God. Yes, the Christmas Story is a great paradox of a God who is frequently hidden in plain sight.
How are you being chosen by God to be part of this great paradox? Where might God be hidden in plain sight these days for you?
* This reflection is contained in the chapter entitled “Hidden in Plain Sight” from Rev. Carole Wageman’s new book coming out in March 2017: The Light Shines Through: Our Stories Are God’s Story, Copyright (c) 2017 Church Publishing Incorporated. All rights reserved. Copies can be pre-ordered now at: https://www.churchpublishing.org/lightshinesthrough