So much heartache and so much violence these last few days.
So much to take in.
So much to sigh over.
In the midst of violence and loss and suffering, words often fail. I've been waiting to write a blog post reflecting on the events from the last few days until after Sunday morning. I needed to wait. For on Sunday morning at church we were looking forward to the Christmas pageant. It's been planned for months. The costumes were ready. The stage set. The children excited. The story of Jesus waiting to be told.
You see, I waited to reflect until I witnessed hope through the eyes and ears and voices of children.
As a congregation, and as a community, we needed to see life. We needed to see hope embodied. We needed to smile through the tears.
And smile we did.
We smiled as children came one by one to be a part of the pageant. We smiled as everyone had a part to play.
We smiled when the angels were up and down and lifting their skirts for all to see. Angel wings and joy up and down the aisles.
We smiled at the Darth Vader voice of one of our narrators.
We smiled when Joseph entered played by one of our younger girls.
We smiled when baby Jesus wasn't in the spot Mary had hoped and it seemed for a minute that baby Jesus was lost.
We smiled when the cast of characters told the congregation that God came for each of us.
During worship, as a congregation and as a world grieving, we came together because we need each other. We need to pray for one another. We need to hear the prayers of others. We need to speak words of justice and compassion. We need to speak truth to power. We need to use our hands and feet to reach out to our neighbors and strangers.
We need to see hope embodied through the story of a baby born in a manger, a story of Jesus born to die on a cross to overcome death once and for all. A story of light overcoming the darkness.
We witnessed a story enacted through the simple acts and voices of children. In the clumsiness of a people searching for the light. In the quiet voices of angels. In bread and wine. In silence and stillness. In babies crying.
The ordinary acts of each of us together spoke extraordinary volumes of love.