Jesus doesn't fix anything.

advent star (image credit: Virginia Wieringa)

in a manger still and obscure hidden beneath a star shone bright swaddled in ancient words and found by foreign men bruised heal before lungs even drew a quiet night diseasing evil forever

after all, bruised beats broken and that’s what the angels were singing to shepherds, to wise, to whored and to falsely whole

    we swallow brokenness like the drugs keeping us afloat     our heads nod in restlessness and the receiving     our hearts return us to the well to see the seer

and so this is Christmas all white in the absence of snow our hearts pushed in, and we know the bruises beat the broken

holy night, hushed and aglow promise’s arrival to a heavy handed world time a refugee in the camp Grace swallowed the Virgin knows what mothers do not: how to hold the King of Angels O, come let us adore him, Christ, the Lord

Christmas comes earlier once again.  Sales announce the season and joy fills our hearts.  It seems as though more of Christmas is lost in commercialism each year.  The story, faded into well balanced nativity sets sold for shelves and lawns grows more native in an adapted knowing that Christ came so we spread good will and cheer.

But look at the night.  Jesus doesn’t fix anything.  In fact, things get worse; a lot worse.  The king of the moment feels threatened at the report of foreign wise men arrived to see the foretold promise under a star.  So the king commands all babies under the age of two be found and murdered.  The people of the foretold promise bleeding again under the tyrannical rule of other men.  I’d say things worsened. We’ve heard the story bookended by Christmas and Easter unfold - the child grew.  The story builds anticipation as some realize the Promise arrived in a manger, grew into a man, touched people like God.  He gathered the bruised and buried the broken.  And then the story reaches climax with his public, gory death - worsened once again.  A strong shift of circumstance happens in Jesus’ resurrection, and then, a sort of to be continued hangs as those closest to him watch him ascend into the heavens.

And here we are.  Holders of the promise awaiting God’s glorious arrival, as a people once did.  So much of our world is broken; our very lives broken, too.

What if Jesus comes hushed again, undetected in our world obsessed with its own healing, demanding all must be whole before all can be all right?

Jesus doesn’t fix anything.  He comes.

Into the worst conditions, among a family gone amok, through the unchangeable circumstance of death and all the more that can go wrong, Jesus comes right into the middle where you are and abides.

And so, this is Christmas, this is Advent, this is promise and this is Jesus.  O, come let us adore him and belong to a Savior come and not a known cure.

on Boston, babies and tomorrow.

when will the day rest and settle soft, one day quietly leaning into another

fear forgotten remembered

words spoken gentle and without pay

lunatics, come home to a place forgotten in flames of somewhere once over-trodden set still, cease picking at scabs inherited leave dreams burning mad, and only you

    judgers listen to the sound of more than seen     Otherworld melody disturbing our peace carry lyrics that read like prayers of         repentance ...for both us and them     something so wrong, so horrid, so haunting, so hateful and treacherous     owning those to be brothers and fathers sold by fathers

sorrow whispers, all is not well Otherworld lowers itself more into our world bleeding out of control. on lonely streets crowded all remember at the hand of hatred,     no, all is not well.

. . . and the future cringes at today fast approaching; a Son bends low yesterday, spits in blinded eyes wanting to see yes son, the blind can still see.




“There’s so much wrong in the world today.”  

It seems each generation says this with more emphasis and groan.  I listened to my grandparents talk about evil in the form of wars and armies fighting wicked men starved for control.  Men demonized because of their lust for power and domination stopping at nothing to reach for it.  I heard my parents talk about some of the same, but the enemy became some of them turned inward.  Wanting all they could get in independence and personal freedom, homes eroded to kingdoms abandoned by those who should have been kings.  Divorce rose common giving way for children devaluing home altogether while longing for what they never could have or keep.

One generation echoes the one before: so much wrong present today.

Quickly, we rally to hurt with those in Boston and pray for healing and safety reset again.  We ring bells of alarm, disapproval and judgement in the Gosnell trial screaming, “monster” of man's damnable, predatory and atrocious acts against humanity.

And rightfully so, on both accounts.

I simply stand in your crowd, shoulder to shoulder together, but what’s on our collective mind connects us familial.  There’s so much wrong swirling.  When will it end?  Does it end?  If it doesn’t, how deep will it go and how close can it reach?

Friends, that is what frightens me and strips any apathy right off of my warm back.  Evil’s reach right into my world and closer - right into the world of those names I know, those necks I hug and hearts I love.  I pray for people I never knew compassionately and with a lonely pity, but fear and evil continue to billow out there in the distance away from those I love most.  It can be a fearful thing to raise a child in today’s savage context.  Evil lurks, broods and advances close seemingly with no fear of repercussion or boundary to stay it away leaving little safety or sacred in our lives.

Today a city wakes to a new day bathed in grief and unanswered questions.  Within its borders, right near its center, bombs exploded ripping not only through life and limb, but tomorrow.  And today a nation watches horror continue to unfold in the trial of a doctor who severed the heads of babies and performed late term abortions quietly for years.

I contemplate my position, pray for mercy and grace and gather myself to stand correctly.  If judgement be my only response, then evil possibly only begets evil.  The atrocious and ugly, the unholy and unjust, the wrong and evil - as a whole is much too large for me.  My responsibility is not to right wrong, but to hurt with those hurting, plead for safety and justice with those needing it and sow love, goodness and beauty in every opportunity given.

Within my family, I can fight to eradicate the generational echo of so much wrong in the world today.  Though I fear the world my daughters will stand to face and raise their kids in one day soon, I must remember that this day is theirs and trust that good will continue to buffet evil no matter how dark its clouds.  Above all and in the end, good will swallow evil and God will redemptively make all things new and somehow right.

The big struggle is His to manage and bandage for now.  Mine is to live these days given; to trust and live in response to trust in Him.

Much work needs to be done in each day grooming my daughters for all ahead.  How they see me respond to my days, the good, the bad and the ugly, will largely influence the days belonging to them and how they live them.

As evil distorts and dismantles future's still waiting day, I affect culture as a parent living and building little lives now; speaking into days ahead, “there will be those who stand ready to love in darkness growing until all returns to rest and peace.”