Tonight Little Abear's elbow met another four-year-olds-body with intentional force. Upon this news, I was in silenced disbelief. Said little boy is fine. But, the principal was the intent - and I knew this had to be dealt with. I didn't yell or strongly react in the aftermath, but as we left the event where this took place and stopped off at some errands on the way home, I'm sure Little Abear felt my silent displeasure. As we stood looking at an end cap display on one of the main aisles of a local Target, Little Abear decided that he would like to repent to The Lord right then. He got down on his knees, facing not the end cap but the empty space down the long open aisle, and he waited for people to move out of the way. This had nothing to do with shame or self-awareness on his part, he let me know we shouldn't pray to idols, he wanted people to pass so he could pray to God alone. I wish I could say this was the moment I had always been waiting for, but in the middle of my small boy prostrating himself before The Lord in a public space, I had to allow myself to be there in that moment with him. This was a moment of humility for me - while my sweet boy asked for forgiveness for doing this to one of his friends, and calling his Master the Messiah - to my complete disbelief - I had to be there humbly. This was the second time within four months one of my Abear boys laid bare the lack of humility within my heart through their own heartfelt actions.
Something about the celebration of the birth of Christ strikes me so intrigued, from this moment over 2,000 years ago, to the present. Do we not see anything odd upon our casual glances at the manger scene so prevalent among us? A babe, his parents, angels, wise men, and shepherds. There is nothing noble about a lowly shepherd, the one who tends the sheep and works long. And there is little lowly about the role of a wise man, adviser to authority and rulers. And these awe-striking angels, there is nothing usual about them. Yet all are gathered to honor a baby. Because they all know that this Baby is a King come down. Even Pilate knew there was no fault to be found with him before the crucifixion (Luke 23:4), this Messiah that even four-year-olds acknowledge face upon a Target floor. You see, all creatures must, and will - with the breath given to them, use it to acknowledge Christ as King (Psalm 150:6). There is no differentiation when it comes to worship. Galations 3:28 says "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." God gives no preference to nobility or ragamuffins.
On Sunday I stood in a service with one who was not long ago homeless. I watched as a five-year-old poured out her heart in song. I listened as my husband sang to his Saviour. And I lifted my hands not out of obligation, but because these dirty hands are all I can give and all I can hold out to be filled. We don't have to come in our Sunday best for Jesus. We can come torn, bruised, beaten, or even the oppressor. Jesus will take all, because He died for all. So this Christmas, if you think of anything to give, give yourselves. Come to the manger, come to the cross, rejoice in the empty tomb. Come humbly, come loudly. But please, come as you are, wherever you are.