GIVER OF A NEW LAW
TO ALL NATIONS
COME AND SAVE US
FOR YOU ARE OUR GOD
This morning I received three love letters from dear friends across the space and time of my life. They were more than Christmas cards; in fact they were not Christmas cards at all, must momentary impulses on the part of three separate people to shower me with the blessing of their hearts. To me, today, these friends came as Emmanuel. “God With Us.”
a virgin shall conceive
and bear a son
and his name shall be called
It really happened, my heart whispers. And it continues. Put all this together: There’s a new law. Jeshua tells his friends, “A new law I give to you. Love one another.” Love is not written in stone but in our hearts. Isn’t this the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy (11:19)where God says in him, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
The virgin has/IS an undivided heart. That heart conceives a divine child — God-With-Us — who brings this new law, Love.
Oh dear. Where are the words? As T.S. Eliot says: “Where shall the Word be found? Where shall the Word resound? Not here. There is not enough silence.” And now the music of Handel’s Messiah comes booming into my mind, “Why do the nations so furiously rage together?” And, yes they do. How can there be Emmanuel when the slaughter of children continues in Syria and elsewhere? How can there be peace on earth when stony hearts spread terror?
Yet, the world was no different that year in Bethlehem. It was likely not a silent night. Chances are there was no comfort for that virgin/mother in the cave behind the too full Inn. I suspect people were grumbling about Rome upping their taxes and taking their names. The shepherds probably were cold and trying to get a bit of sleep in shifts somewhere on the rocky earth. In houses throughout the town other mothers tried to quiet their babies with lullabies, not knowing that in only a few weeks Herod’s soldiers would raid their homes and kill their sons. Into this Emmanuel would come.
Eliot was wrong.
Even in and out of the raging the Word of Love is spoken, heard, found. Emmanuel. Go deep inside. The divine one is what you are. Emmanuel is your deepest being. Even in the body broken—Emmanuel. Even in the bombed city—Emmanuel. Even in the murdered child—Emmanuel. In the refugee—Emmanuel. Deeper than the anger and fear of the terrorist—Emmanuel. May the stone dissolve to reveal the heart’s tender flesh. It’s the time for it to happen.
May you receive a word of love today, and may your heart be tender to receive.
Let the New Law come to all the nations and into every heart. Let Divine Love come.
O EMMANUEL, COME