Gerard van Honthhorst, Adoration of the Shepherds, December 25, 1622
There is a beautiful story told every Christmas in the forests of Provence in southern France. It’s about four shepherds who journey to Bethlehem to see the baby Jésu. One brought eggs, another a baguette and fresh cheese, the third brought wine (My kind of shepherds! Vive la France!). The fourth brought nothing at all. His name was L’Enchanté. The first three shepherds presented their gifts and made niceties with Mary and Joseph, commenting on how well Mary looked, how cozy and warm the stable was, and boasted of the magnificent starlit night. Finally someone asked, “Where is L’Enchanté?” After much searching, they peeked through the blanket, hung to keep out the draft, and into the creche. There, kneeling at the manger, was L’Enchanté – the Enchanted One. Like a flag or a flame taking the direction of the wind, he had taken the direction of Love.
May we each find ourselves in the posture of L’Enchante on Christmas morning. Amidst the excitement of swirling Christmas paper, ribbons, train sets, legos, American girls, Moravian sugar cakes and hot chocolates overflowing with marshmallows, may we carve out one precious moment to kneel in gratitude for the gift of Hope released into the world that first Christmas morning. A Savior was born into the pinky flesh and intoxicating baby scent of humanity. He was entrusted with the holiest of holy missions, to save all of creation! We know what forgiveness, redemption, healing, resurrection, and heaven looks like because of his sacred foot prints across our planet and our very hearts today!