The reality of the messy Nativity

I’ve said this before: the story of the Nativity lives in everyone’s heart. The story of the messy first Christmas is your story: you know what it is like to lose control, to deal with the unexpected, to put your life in danger for the sake of others, to be uncertain about the future and yet say “yes” to love and mystery.

The story of the Word Made Flesh — the experience of Incarnational Encounters — is the stuff of poetry and song, of silence and shared reflection. It’s creative and transformative. It is a story of sorrow and joy, a story of darkness and light. The reality of the nativity is messy, in the best of ways.

Last week I had the joy of reflecting with singer-songwriter ValLimar Jansen about all of this as we offered an Advent Retreat for National Catholic Reporter members. Below is the video, which I was given permission to share with whomever I want. And, I want to share it with all of you as a little late-Advent/early-Christmas treat. Grab a candle and your journal and then take an hour to rest and savor the uplifting music. Lean into the light glowing deep in your heart; perhaps you will discover there how the story of God-With-Us is your story.

Merry, messy Christmas to you all!

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