Christmas Day (Year B)
Advent Meditation by The Reverend J. Donald Waring
When I was six years old the number-one thing that I wanted for Christmas was a large toy firetruck. Then came the day in December when my parents took my brothers and me to visit Santa Claus at Hahne & Co., the fashionable department store in downtown Newark, NJ. I told Santa of my wishes, and later on while shopping, my father took a firetruck down from one of the shelves and asked, “How about this one?” It was the object of my desire, and I found that very thing under the tree on Christmas morning. My joy knew no end, but I do remember wondering how the big fella in the red suit had pried the firetruck away from Dad so that he could land on the roof of our house, come down the chimney, and deliver the toy to me. Nevertheless, I did not allow such inscrutable mysteries to trouble me for long. I was having too much fun playing with the firetruck – which I still have to this day.
Today is not a day to be troubled by the inscrutable mystery at the heart of Christmas: the doctrine of the Incarnation. Perhaps it’s enough to trust that in the birth of Jesus, God was doing something life-giving and loving for the whole world. God became one of us in Jesus. My prayer this day is that you receive God’s gift of Jesus in whatever manner makes sense to you, and that through him your relationship with God becomes new.
Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter. Day in night.
Heaven in earth, and God in man.
Great little one, whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.
(Richard Crashaw, 1612-1649)