It Takes Our Breath Away To Contemplate This Great And Glorious Mystery!

As the feast of Christmas draws near our hearts are full of anticipation. We are moved to ponder the birth of Jesus, two millennia ago, as a still point at the center of time, a moment of profound change for all of humanity. All that had gone on before would be changed, nothing would be the same again. In that birth, the unseen God, the God of awe and wonder, the Word through which all things came to be, became flesh and dwelt among us. Our relationship with God became intimate, familiar, and tangible in the form of an innocent child.

It takes our breath away to contemplate this great and glorious mystery. In that child all of the promises of old, all the prophecies of salvation, were fulfilled; they became real and utterly present to us. In this birth our humanity regained its original dignity. The God of all truth and goodness, in whose image we were created, had entered the limits of our flesh and in doing so revealed his infinite love for us and his perfect fidelity toward us. In this weak, vulnerable child, the promises of mercy that God had made to Adam, to Abraham and to his children, forever, were made manifest.

The Almighty, the God of Creation, became a child! The very God who had brought the people out of slavery in Egypt, who had parted the waters of the Red Sea, who spoke to Moses in the cloud atop Mt. Sinai and gave him the tablets of his law, and who stopped the flow of the Jordan for them to let them enter the Promised Land; this same God has come to us in the flesh in this child, Jesus. In this infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was the salvation of the world.

Yes, our hearts are overwhelmed with holy awe and joy when we contemplate this mystery. We are filled with wonder that God so dearly loves us that he “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather he made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness; and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)

Lord, help us to reflect ever more deeply on this wondrous mystery of your faithful love toward us in this Christmas season. Help us to put the worries and the busyness of the world aside at this time. Give us the grace to understand ever more deeply the meaning of your coming among us in the flesh, and help us to give you our thanks by joyfully serving one another, and those who are in most need at this time of year. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.