Advent Devotional: To see and touch

Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees. 
 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God. (Isaiah 35:3-4)

I enjoy visiting people in the hospital. It’s not that I want to see people sick or hurting, but real conversations happen there.

Most patients are pleased to have a visitor because time and worry weigh heavily on their mind. There is also no hiding or pretending that there is nothing wrong. So we talk. Talking leads to honesty, and honesty leads to prayer.

It’s an intimate moment, hands holding hands, hearts joined in hope for healing and strength. Tears sometime appear. The grip of hand-on-hand tightens as hopes and fears are offered in love to the God who is Love. Strength flows through held hands and buoys the heart for whatever might come.

But what has already come … is the God who is expressed in our flesh, as love and blessing are shared. No one needs to ask, ‘Where is Christ?’ because Christ is right there, in our hands.

We call it incarnation. This is what we celebrate in this holy season: God becomes incarnate, flesh, a body we can see and touch, know and love. In the touching, weak hands find strength, and fearful hearts know God is present, with them.

The incarnation of God most certainly appeared in a Bethlehem stable. Here is our God, cradled in Mary’s arms. Jesus is the human face of the Loving Mystery we cannot see.

But the incarnation doesn’t stop there. It is not time limited. Incarnation goes on. The Holy One becomes flesh to see and touch, know and love wherever and whenever Love takes on flesh.

And it happens everywhere.

Pr. David L. Miller