This Christmas, if you are grieving the Christmas that could have been, perhaps there is an invitation. Next Christmas, will we look backward to all of the picture postcards of our childhood, or will we look forward? Will we work to make sure that in the year to come there has been good news, great joy, for all, yes all the people?
Whatever sorrow you are carrying, whatever grief, know: the message of Christmas is that God chose to show up in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Seems foolish to the world, but there's God's wisdom. God chooses to walk with us when life hurts. That is the only plan.
Small things with great love may be a healthier distillation of Advent than the narrative our world offers, asking us to muscle the best holiday we can. Small things with great love could certainly be a tag line for John the Baptizer.