So, What Are You Here For?

holy family

“If you came to this place expecting a tame story, you came to the wrong place.

If you came for a story that does not threaten you, you came for a different story than the one we tell.

If you came to hear of the coming of a God who only showed up so that you could have a nice day with your loved ones, then you came for a God whom we do not worship here.

For even a regular baby is not a tame thing.

And goodness that cannot threaten complacency and evil is not much good at all,

And a God who would choose to give up power and invincibility to become an infant for you, certainly didn’t do it just so you could have dinner.


If you came because you think unwed teenage mothers are some of the strongest people in the world;

If you came because you think that the kind of people who work third shift doing stuff you’d rather not do might attract an angel’s attention before you, snoring comfortably in your bed, would;

If you came because you think there are wise men and women to be found among undocumented travelers from far lands and that they might be able to show you God;

If you came to hear a story of tyrants trembling while heaven comes to peasants;

If you came because you believe that God loves the animals as much as the people and so made them the first witnesses to the saving of the world;

If you came for a story of reversals that might end up reversing you;

If you came for a tale of adventure and bravery, where strong and gentle people win, and the powerful and violent go down to dust;

where the rich lose their money but find their lives and the poor are raised up like kings;

If you came to be reminded that God loves you too much to leave you unchanged;

If you came to follow the light even if it blinds you;

If you came for salvation and not safety;

then, ah, my friends, you are precisely in the right place.

So what are you here for?”

– Quinn G. Caldwell, All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Abingdon Press (2014)


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