Christmas 2014

Something new is happening tonight.  Something new is happening because something new is happening every Christmas.  Something new happens when God breaks into the world, when the presence of the Messiah is felt, when salvation comes to save us.  Something new is happening tonight – souls are stirred and hearts are renewed.  It is the Christmas Eve and Jesus Christ is born.

Something new is happening because something new happened to a people awaiting the consolation of God.  Something new is happening because with hope and patience the Jewish people prayed for deliverance, for the Lord to show himself powerful and alive to a persecuted, occupied and oppressed people.  Something new is happening because their hopes were met beyond their wild expectation, because their dream was met with a startling reality.

Something new is happening tonight because something new happened to a young girl who is asked for the impossible, to carry the Son of God. Something new is happening tonight because she had the faith and the courage to say yes.  Something new is happening tonight because Joseph her betrothed trusted in the Spirit who spoke to him in a dream and became that child’s protector and loved him as his own.  Something new is happening tonight because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and something new always happens when the Holy Spirit overshadows us.

Something new is happening tonight because in an ancient time in the midst of a holy night, Jesus Christ was born.  Something new is happening tonight for a king is born in the most unreasonable and unexpected place, in a stable for there was no room at the inn, placed in a manger was the body of the Christ, prepared to be food for the world.  Something new is happening tonight and it was told to lowly shepherds, the outsiders by holy angels.  Something new is happening tonight because we, mere mortals have joined their song of joy, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace on whom his favor rests.”

Something new is happening tonight but when it happened it looked pretty ordinary.  What was the great sign the shepherds were to see?  “You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothing.”  In other words, they find a baby like any baby, beautiful, precious and treasured.  God has broken into the world with a new power to be understood and celebrated.  And that power is as gentle as a baby’s breath.

Something new is happening tonight because that is the genius of incarnation.  Divinity is translated into humanity so we can learn the language of God.  His body is our body and his life is our life.  Now we can point and definitively say this is justice; this is love; this is peace.

Something new is happening tonight because Emmanuel, God-with-us is born.  We are not alone because we are always accompanied by our God.  Something new is happening tonight because once God breaks into the world, he fully inhabits it. Something new is happening tonight because in the parched lands of our soul, a shower of blessing comes upon us.    Something new is happening tonight because what we thought was ugly in us has been touched by the perfection of God and we recognize a new beauty. Something new is happening tonight because we are not abandoned, forgotten or forsaken.  We are loved beyond all telling.

Something new is happening tonight for a new justice is proclaimed in the birth of this child.  Powers tumble in the face of a babe and love rises as the measure of his life, of our life.  Something new is happening tonight because peace is proclaimed.  It was the child’s mission and it must be ours.  Something new is happening tonight because we follow the way of the God become human:  the way of compassion, the way of forgiveness, the way of abounding mercy.

Something new is happening tonight so let us be different.  Let us promise to not only be partakers of Christ’s peace, but proclaimers as well.  Let us announce the good news as we echo the angels’ joy in their first telling to the shepherds.  Let us be different as we marvel of the dignity that Christ that rests in us.  Let us be different in the reality that dignity is present in all.  Let us be different for we are saved.  Let us be different for we are loved.  Let us be different for we can remake the world in the name and in the way of the child of Bethlehem.  Let that Christ within us tell a new story and build a kingdom of that gentle and humble king.  Let us dare to live a life in his name for God has broken into the world and nothing will be impossible.  Let us be different “for today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.”  Something new is happening tonight.  Jesus Christ is born.

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