This is the night before the day when we celebrate the coming of Light into our world, a world lost in deep shadows of selfishness, pain, lies, malice, and death. This is the night before the day on which we remember to each other the Life that came in such an unassuming package: no thunder, no booming voice from heaven, no meteor crash-landing in a field. Just the screams of a woman in labor; just the mess the process left upon the stable floor; just the hungry, scared cries of a baby pushed out into the chill night air, and the cooing of his mother as she held him for the first time.
God became man, and dwelt among us.
He came to his own, and his own knew him not.
The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Thirty-three years this man who was also God walked poor, hardworking, then homeless among the Hebrews living in the shadow of Rome. He showed us love, and life, and hope; and then he died for us, to reconcile us to God through his act of redemption; and rose from the dead, breaking the bonds of death itself, to show the power that he has brought to each of us who receives him: the power to love, to change, to create, and to restore.
This is Christmas Eve.
May each of us receive the kingdom of Christ more fully into our hearts and lives today, and tomorrow, and in the coming year.