December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

As I heard in a sermon last Sunday, this time of year is when divinity and humanity intersect in an explosive way to change the world. As I have noted in other posts, the season changes have been considered ‘thin times’ by Celtic spirituality and others for millenia. These are times when heaven comes close to earth and the gateways are open so that it is possible and even probable for the Holy to enter into the secular. Of course, Immanuel, God with us, is the ultimate breaking in of the Holy into human existence.

 We can get caught up in the celebration of “Happy Birthday Jesus” and the secular fun of presents and family-all good! It is too easy to forget that the whole reason for Immanuel was our salvation via the cross. Jesus was born to be Love Incarnate and that to the point of death on the Cross. May your heart be open to receive the offered Love and to bear it into the world in reconciliation and peace.
Music and art help us be more aware of this truth. Christmas songs, like The Little Drummer Boy express the longing of all humanity and the welcoming of the Infant to all who come. The Drummer Boy brings his only possession and only talent to offer to the “newborn King…” The Babe responded to the joy of the Boy-“then he smiled at me…” Recently the blog Busted Halo had a post about this song that was interesting.

The song, Come to My Heart Lord Jesus by Emily Elliott reminds us of the entire journey of the Infant whose birth we remember and recount:
Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.
Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.”
 I offer you a final image to meditate on. The shadow of a cross falls across the manger and the toddler Jesus plays in Joseph’s carpenter’s shop with spikes as the sun casts the shadow of a cross behind him.

May you have a joyous Christmas tide, welcoming the Holy Child into your life more deeply.

May the manger of your heart hold the One who created the stars and the One who became an Infant.
May the manger of your hands shares the One who redeemed the world and continues to reconcile each of us to God.
May you find joy in the One who is ever with us.

As the hymn says, "Come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee."

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