Weekly Uplift – “Swaddling”

As I will share this Sunday December 20 in worship, I have had lessons (from my adult children) in swaddling lately. Here is our grandson Linden, all swaddled into what seems to be a burrito in this photo taken at one week. He certainly seems content and safe, sleeping away, perhaps trusting that the adults around him are taking care of the world as he knows it.

This trust might be symbolic of how we believe God is taking care of the world around us. We probably have different reactions to God’s involvement in the world. Different belief systems or levels of trust that God is taking care of business. Especially when many things seem to be going wrong—with so many infected by Covid-19, etc. Yet, still, there are signs of great compassion and courage as people care for one another. There are wondrous things happening which speak of God’s presence in this world.

Some of these wondrous things are happening this very week as our outreach committee and others in this congregation have been busy purchasing and gathering Christmas gifts for families who are in need of help this time of year. These “elves” of First Christian Church are delivering these packages this week. Other “elves” in the form of our elders are gathering items (I can’t give away the elves’ secrets!) into bags for Christmas gifts for the young people affiliated with our church, which will also be delivered this week.

So, in these ways we can feel swaddled or engulfed by God’s love. But, it is also true that we can embody that love, “enflesh” it, live it ourselves—as the examples above attest—by giving to or serving others. In such acts of compassion we become the “swaddlers”—by enwrapping others in God’s love and light.

What better gift can be given this year than such love? And, of course, we have the example of God’s own gift to us—the baby Jesus—as one swaddled and cared for by God’s children. Using Matthew 25 as a guide here—in which Jesus is the “least of these”—perhaps we see our giving as swaddling a world that God so loved that God gave a swaddled infant, maybe the most helpless of all creatures in this world.

Just as God’s giving provoked swaddling, we might see our giving as provoking swaddling in the people we serve. So that, at some point, they can give to others, thus swaddling and caring for them.

Swaddling begets swaddling. Birth. Life. Love.

What Christmas is all about.


Pastor Doug

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