Once again we are approaching Christmas. Engaging in a final burst of activity before December 24: shopping to be finished, cookies to be made, homes to be decorated, round after round of holiday parties to enjoy.
And finally we get to the stillness and quiet of Christmas Eve. Of the beautiful manger scene, with Mary looking serene, Joseph looking proud, and the baby fast asleep. Which looks nothing at all like any of the births I ever attended as a nurse-midwife. Each one of those births was beautiful, yes, but also gritty, sweaty, earthy, messy, and painful.
And in the most profound miracle ever—the miracle that is really hard to wrap our minds around—God chose to enter into that grit, sweat, mud, mess, and pain right along with us. God, Creator of the stars of night, found in 7 or so pounds of flesh, vulnerable and helpless. This particular miracle assures us that there is nowhere God will not go to reach us. Assures us that this world, our flesh, is shot through with holiness. Assures us that God is with us now and always. I am well aware that it is difficult sometimes to see that, to know that. But I also know that, if we are looking, God shows up in all sorts of surprising places and forms—even in us.
So this Christmas, I invite you to join us at St. Peter’s for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. To marvel at the miracle that is God with us. To sing with us:
“For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to us on earth!”
Merry Christmas. And peace, blessings, and joy in this Holy season.