The Gift of God Among Us

by Rev. Paul L. Escamilla, Senior Pastor

In late November, at the beginning of the Advent season, many of us gathered for the church’s Advent Festival. The evening concluded with a procession to Rowe Plaza, where we placed nativity figures, except for the baby Jesus, in a large outdoor crèche. Once everything was in its place—Mary, Joseph, a cow, the empty manger, and the magi at a near distance—the children began maneuvering through the nativity scene, exploring the figures that had just been situated there. I overheard one child asking another a very logical question, “Where is baby Jesus?” From out of nowhere came a little voice with a big answer. Young Birdie Landers stated with assurance, “Baby Jesus is at home.”

Where is baby Jesus? Baby Jesus is at home—and at school, and work, and in the church house and the statehouse, the jailhouse and the marketplace. At Christmas, baby Jesus is to be found wherever life is lived, fears harbored, hopes kindled, loved shared, a gift of wonder and promise to a world so much in need of both.

The days before us summon us to open our hearts once more to this gift of wonder and promise, the Christ of Bethlehem, a gift given right where we are, wherever that may happen to be.

Grace and peace.