I preached two weeks ago about the importance of Advent, the paring down, the quieting of our minds, the stilling of our frenetic paces, and it has been my hope that in some way each of us has been able to do that. And even if not, then perhaps slow down enough to do some spiritual preparation before Christmas itself gets here. Because Saturday it’s here.
But what exactly is here?
What’s here is the miracle of the Incarnation, of God coming among us, of God’s act of generative, unmerited, and limitless love to join with the human condition and to be us and everything that being human means. Christmas is earth joining heaven and heaven joining earth, when humankind and God are brought together, in flesh: God in man made manifest, as the hymnist writes.
Christmas is God breaking into the world, not in majesty and splendor, in the incomprehensible glory of an omnipotent deity, but rather in the form of a baby, vulnerable and beautiful, born in a lowly stable in a forgotten corner of the world to forgettable people. Christmas is the unexpected; Christmas is the turning over of everything we know; Christmas is light and love amidst the darkness. Christmas is, as the poet Richard Wilbur writes, when “…the low is lifted high; The stars shall bend their voices, and every stone shall cry. And every stone shall cry, in praises of the child, by whose descent among us, the world is reconciled.”
As these magical Twelve Days begin, may you know the peace and light and love that is Jesus of Bethlehem.