I place my cheek against my daughter’s forehead. Heat. I know the verdict, even as I reach for the thermometer. It’s a tender moment, cradling her there in the kitchen, this “flesh of my flesh,” skin-to-skin echoing earliest newborn hours.
Life in a body is full of ups and downs: fever spikes and wintry chills, the pangs and wonders of birth and growth, aging and death. And in the midst of it all, pleasure! The thrill and comfort of holding and being held, the exhilaration of dance, a perfect bite of pumpkin pie.
At the heart of Christmas is a story of incarnation: a claim that the divine comes home to us in and through our very flesh, from the inside out. The real power of Christmas comes wrapped in a swaddle, precious in its fragility. That baby and this story belong to all of us, a powerful reminder that Spirit belongs to this fleshy, vulnerable life, and that we belong to one another.
No matter how your theology wrestles with or bows before these mysteries, there is power in recognizing that bodies are sacred, and that we are in many ways one body, bound together with our one living earth.
What might it mean to approach this Advent, Solstice and Christmas season especially attuned to the power of our bodies to create, heal, grow, feel, and connect?
… We might act like members of the same body, caring and feeding one another and those in need – like our generous Thanksgiving Offering for St. Vincent DePaul of Lincoln and Weston (which you can still contribute to!) – and the Thanksgiving food baskets which fed 90 unhoused families through Solutions at Work out of Cambridge.
… We might listen with compassion to our own body’s needs for rest, nourishment, or movement.
… We might be drawn to gather together, in-the-flesh (or online), at any of the marvelous upcoming December events, culminating in the wonder of candlelight and carols on Christmas Eve. (Speaking of, if you could take a minute to let us know which service your family is planning to join, we’d appreciate it! https://fplincoln.breezechms.com/form/4c6c35)
In the meanwhile, we wish you a full-bodied Advent season, from head to toe! May your hands reach out, may your breath be deep, and may your hugs be at least 10 seconds long (for peak oxytocin release).
See you in church,
Kit and Nate