In this holy infant, was the seed of the Man who would show us the depths of God’s love by suffering and dying on a cross in order to free us from the ancient chains of sin and death. In him our weary souls know the thrill of hope again.
The beautiful Christmas carol, ‘O Holy Night,’ reminds us that, “Long lay the world in sin and error a pining till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.” Yes, the long wait is over. The Child is born and lays in a manger, dressed in swaddling clothes, like any other baby. But this Child, O this holy Child, is like no other. In this Child, born on that long winter night so long ago, is the fulfillment of all the promises of old.
Our Savior has come. And we fall on our knees still hearing the angels singing. This night, this night made divine by the birth of the Christ, the long awaited Messiah, makes our hearts burn with renewed faith, reignited hope, and joyous love, for we have seen our salvation in the form of this small child.
This little babe, this innocent little bundle wrapped tightly in his swaddling, would grow into manhood and teach us to love one another as he so loved us. In this holy infant, was the seed of the Man who would show us the depths of God’s love by suffering and dying on a cross in order to free us from the ancient chains of sin and death. In him our weary souls know the thrill of hope again. “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high [has broken] upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
On this Christmas Eve, let us take some time in our homes and in our churches to reflect on the great and glorious mystery of this holy night. Let us “fall on our knees” once again to lift up our hearts and our voices in joyful praise of the great gift that has come to us in the birth of Christ Jesus. Let us give humble thanks to our God with joyful hearts. Let us turn to one another with renewed love and recommit ourselves to live in and out of that love more and more every day. Our long awaited salvation has come. Let him be born again into our very souls this night. Let us welcome him with humble awe like the shepherds, and let us become gifts like those brought by the Magi to the babe who is our Savior.
Jesus, you are our life and our hope. Give us the strength of character and the force of faith to live in accord with your commandment of love. Help us to be your disciples of love in this wounded world. Give us the grace of courage and the gift of joy in all things. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 118:26) In your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen!
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