by: Rev. David Horton
With Advent quickly approaching I am noticing more than usual the babies in our church. Babies and pregnant ladies seem to be around every corner at Gethsemane. New life is in abundance.
One of the newborns is named David. I am partial to the name. David’s chubby cheeks are like flotation devices. He is the quietest little baby. He stays in worship with his family and he never utters a peep. He loves to be passed around during worship. During the opening hymn he’ll be with his mom, but during the sermon he’ll be in the arms of one of the youth, and God only knows where David is by the time he comes forward for Communion. Everyone wants to hold him. Everyone wants a piece of the joy he brings.
David is the youngest of six children. His parents and siblings were born in Congo or in Kenya while escaping the warfare in their home country. David’s family immigrated to Houston in 2015 as political refugees, which means David was born on American soil. David, less than a year old, is the first American citizen in his family. He’s too young to know how fortunate he is.
Pastors are not immune to the venom and chaos in the wake of this, the most tumultuous election season in memory. I think that’s why I love holding David when I recess out of the sanctuary after worship ends. Holding him, my little brother in Christ, is like an antidote to the political poison that has seeped into my soul. When we pass him around on Sunday morning, the halo of light around him pushes back the darkness within each of us, like a mobile candle floating around in a dark world. He’s too young to know how bright his light is. He’s too young to know that he and God are winning the battle against darkness.
I hope we can all grow a little younger this Advent, or at least let the glow of babies rub off on us. The darkness has no hope against God and babies.