In the Incarnation, the humble God in the simple manger bends down to embrace and lift up creation to its intended glory. The mystery of the Incarnation for Francis was that God bends low in love to meet us where we are. Jesus—whose name was so dear to Francis on Christmas Eve that he could hardly use it, preferring instead “Babe from Bethlehem,”—was to be followed more than believed in. “The brothers who live with [Francis] know that daily, constantly, talk of Jesus was always on his lips. He was always with Jesus: Jesus in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands, he bore Jesus always in his whole body,” [writes Thomas Celano in The Life of Saint Francis.] And God’s love in Jesus was for everyone. Everyone.
—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)
What does it mean to you that God chose to send God’s Son as a baby to a poor couple in a small village? Join the conversation.
The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
—John 1:14 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Surprising God, thank you for choosing to be with us as a child who needs our care and tenderness in an often harsh world. Thank you for your humble beginnings, showing us that we don’t need to look too high or too far to find your presence in the ordinary, the humble, the poor, or the beautiful. Thank you that your love reaches us again and again. Amen.
Prayer by Larry J. Peacock
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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