Today is the long waited for day.
In Jesus, God's Son, we receive the most precious gift imaginable. Through His birth we are reborn, and we are enabled to live in the light of Him who is the radiant light of God's glory. Christ makes it possible for us to share in the life of God.
The incredible hush & stillness of Christmas Day always reminds me anew and forcibly of the uniqueness of this day of mystery and joy. Famously in the past hostilities have ceased, enemies have fraternised. All over the world, people are seeking out their family and friends, and there is an attempt, however fleeting, to be kinder and more open and sympathetic. The opening words of the prophet distill all these precious qualities: good news, the heralding of peace, happiness, salvation and joy. All of this comes about through the arrival of a message, the proclamation of a Kingdom, a face-to-face meeting with a King, the most intimate of encounters. This is the birth of Jesus, the advent of God-with-us, Emmanuel.
The great hymn of the Pre-Existent Word stands at the heart of all we believe, the fusion of timelessness and mortality, of history and myth, the perception of Jesus the man as Christ, the Word of the Father. His origin goes back to the distant past, as the prophet Micah has told us (5:2), yet not only to the past, but to mysteries beyond all comprehension. He is the revelation of God's own nature, His active and creative love. That is why, despite our temptation to apathy; our temptation to say we are over-familiar with the Christmas Story, Christmas Day always brings a freshness, a newness, as though all creation were being renewed—in the words of Irenaeus, all creation is recapitulated. Light and truth arrive bringing grace upon grace, and calling us into a dynamic of witness. Here is the stark separation between the Christian faith and it's monotheistic cousins, Judaism and Islam. Only in Christianity does the almighty and all powerful creator of the universe condescend to empty Himself of His power and utter transcendence and become completely imminent; present to us in time and space; completely accessible. Such a truth is utter scandal to the other Abrahamic faiths. But for Christians it is given to understand that His advent changes the world, and affects everything that exists in time. Peace is His hallmark, with compassion and forgiveness. This "radiant light of God's glory" shines upon the world with power to illuminate and save. All creation is renewed and men and women made in the image and likeness of God, receive a new dignity. That is why whenever Jesus is preached enlightenment will surely come. The ruins of human endeavour will be restored in His consoling and redeeming power: all nations and the whole world will see His salvation.
Today is about Incarnation, The Incarnation on which the New Covenant is based. To speak of Incarnation is to speak of God's plan. The Incarnation demonstrates the Trinitarian nature of our salvation, the Father's plan taking shape in The Son through the power of The Spirit.
This plan is what we must learn to try and model ourselves to. We fail, but we keep trying. Perfect community. Mutual respect, service, integrity.
Happy CHRISTmas everyone. Have a wonderful day and cherish the gift of each other.