December 24th, 2004


On the Eve of Christmas....

It's hard to know what I want to post. Christmas is a time of such emotion: the expectancy left over from childhood, the reality of being in a city far from the ones I love most, the hesitation over whether I'm giving to people because I want to (because it's right) or just because I'm afraid of hurting their feelings if I don't....

In the end, though, it all comes back to a young woman, travelling in her last trimester of pregnancy, with a man who is not yet her husband, to a town that she had likely not visited before. To the stress of finding no lodging, except in a cave set aside for the animals, smelling like dung and the dust of the road. To low-class workers minding their business on the hills outside, startled by a sudden blinding light and charged to bring news of the birth of the one who would rescue their people.

To a tiny newborn boy, red-faced, bloodied until wiped carefully down, floppy with the sudden move from womb to world. A hungry, helpless, wrinkled infant--but the workers knew him when they found him, and hailed him as their savior-to-come. And the mother heard this confirmation, that it was not only she to whom an angel had spoken, and wondered that the fragile bit of humanity, trying to learn to nurse, was also the only Son of the one and only God.

This is Christmas: that we could not find God, no matter how hard we tried; so He became like us, lived a life by the rules of a human life and death, and showed us Himself.

Incarnation. Emmanuel. God with us.