December 24, 2021, Love, Dad, by Pastor David

My dear son,
I hope someday you can read these words, so you’ll know what it was like in your first year. First I want to tell you, I can hardly believe that I get to be your dad. I literally have never seen a more beautiful baby than you. I know everybody thinks their own kid is the most amazing creation ever made. I am writing this letter to you to let you know that I felt that way too. I look at your tiny hands, your fingers and your toes, so small, so perfect, so wonderfully made. 

49 When they gave you to me to hold the first time, I was just - befuddled. You were asleep and so peaceful and delicate. I worried if my carpenter hands would be too clumsy and big to hold you. But you grabbed my finger and I fell in love. I can’t think of anything more wonderful than just holding your hand. It is the best. 

It has been kind of a strange time, these last two years Jesus. I don’t even know what to make of it. By the time you are old enough to read this, I’m sure you will know that you are my stepson. People talk, so I just want you to know right up front. People tried to tell me that means I’m not really your father, but I tell you what. Biology is not the most important thing. The most important thing is the love, the connection, the desire to make your life as good as it possibly can be in this messed up world. 

Besides, everything lined up for me to decide to accept you as my child and love you as my own.  I was having strange dreams telling me not to get distracted by what the world would think of me marrying a woman who was pregnant already. And then, when you were born, some shepherds came saying that angels had told them the same thing, - that you are a special child, son of the Living God. I thought we were all children of God, but the dreams, the shepherds, the angels; they all pointed to something even more going on. I don’t totally understand it, but something special for sure.

So don’t let people look down on you because you come from Nazareth. I’m sure you’ll hear it - that we are nobodies from nowhere. We are poor, but we do the best we can. We are simple country folk. That doesn’t mean we are worth less. You are something special. You always have been. You show them. Don’t let them put you down. 

That’s why I wanted to write you, so you’ll remember. You’ll know.

There were some other amazing things that happened this year. There was a light, kind of like a star that shone over our village, and some magi, these priests who came and they told us you are not only special, but that you are going to free our people, and transform the world. That was wild. 

Well, this world sure needs transforming, Jesus. Our people are desperate - poor and hurting. The Romans never let up on us, taxing us for all we are worth, and threatening to destroy our Temple. I’ll help you any way I can to be a leader, a rabbi, even a Messiah - that’s what they have been saying. Maybe something new is really happening, and we can live into a new time.

I’m just a simple carpenter. I don’t understand all this big talk. I’ve tried to make the world a better place any way I could, one person at a time. I promise you Jesus. I’ll be the best father I can be for you. I’m not perfect. Still, I’ll teach you to use your hands. I’ll teach you to build a house. We’ll build a house for the holy - helping people have a place to live, to have a place to worship, to be there for each other, to make the world a better place. 

I expect big things of you, son. I’m excited to see where things go for you, and for us as a people. 
Even now, I look at you in your mother’s arms, you fill me with peace. What more could I hope for, than that you would fill the world with peace and fairness for all of us? I love you, my son. I always will. You are my son, and you are the child of a wholly new future. When I hold your little hand, I know more is possible than I had ever imagined. You renew my hope. You fill me with peace. You are God’s good news. 

57 Angels We have Heard on High