In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Beloved in Christ,
The words of Saint John’s Gospel herald a new beginning. John writes with joy of the new creation made present in Jesus Christ. The darkness of the night is overcome by the brightness of the life of God made man in Jesus Christ. Each year, for each of us, Christmas comes. Christmas comes amidst the hurry or hush of our lives. In restlessness or repose, Christmas comes. Each year is different. The milestones, achievements, joys, sorrows, and losses are different for each of us, yet Christmas comes. The moments of our lives are different from day to day and year to year, and yet Christmas comes. Some years, Christmas comes in a time of joy. Some years, Christmas comes in time of loss or grief. Christmas comes.
The light of the child in the manger shines for you and for me. It shines upon the darkness of the world that surrounds us and shows God’s love for the world he has made. Christ comes to us where we are, and in whatever circumstance we face. God is with us – Emmanuel. The Christ-child shows us the depth of the love of God – that God is not only willing to bring us new life, but that he also breaks into our lives as clearly as the cry of a newborn child, and that he is here to stay. Christmas comes.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ points to his death and resurrection. The cry of the newborn in Mary’s arms signals forever that God is with us. Christ takes our burdens as his own, shows us what it means to live a life of love regardless of the cost, and gives to us the promise of life. This cry comes amidst the darkness of Herod’s tyranny and a people occupied. It comes today to a world that is still dark, cold, and hungry, seeking the love of God.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us remember that the promise is not only that God will bring us from darkness to light, but that we have a part to play in the promise. We are to be messengers of the love of God and to bring the light of Christ to the furthest corners of darkness that we encounter. We are to let all people know they are never alone; they are beloved of God. As each of us holds a candle this Christmas season and sing of the silent night of Our Lord’s birth, let us remember to bring that light wherever we may go.
May God bless you in this season of incarnation, and may the light of our Lord Jesus Christ shine in your hearts and lives.
Faithfully in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Jon +