When a child is born

When a child is born we have hopes for them,
That they will grow up strong, that they will make good choices,
that they will find laughter and friendship
that they won’t make our mistakes
that they will find love or that love will find them,that they will want to be around us.
When a child is bornwe want them to have a voice

When a child is born
we make promises to them.
That we will hold them up while they cannot stand,
and hold ourselves back enough that they might grow their own strength.
That we will make the best choices we can,
and when we get things wrong,
we’ll show them how to repent of our mistakes.
We promise to love them
and allow them to love us.
We promise to listen for their voice.

When a child is born,
we look anew at the world around us.
We see with urgency
the need for the earth to be healthy and sustainable
We see with horrorthe violence humans inflict upon each otherin the name of ‘wealth’, or ‘righteousness’ or ‘holiness’ (and decide we need to redefine what those things mean).
We see with alarm the powerful making decisions for today (and maybe tomorrow morning)but ignoring the pressing needs of next week, next month, next decade….

When a child is born,
a shrug of the shoulders and a  “What can you do?”
seems less of a viable option.

A child is born this December.
A child who will grow in strength,
live in love,work in hope,die in injustice
and rise again in life.

But in December,
we celebrate the arrival of the baby
who cries out for the world to be just, kind and well.
We should listen