The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
Today is Christmas Eve. Once again the Seasons of the Church are turning, the Light is here, tonight, for us Christians, and all the world, the Incarnation shall come once more.
Unfortunately we rarely talk about the Mystery of the Incarnation except at this time of the year. It truly is a Mystery beyond human comprehension, but I do believe and confess that one night, long ago, the Word was made flesh.
That miracle of Incarnation to me, teaches us that we should share in all human happiness and mourn every human grief. All genuine human joy and contentment is the business of a Christian because it was shared by God, Incarnate. Not staying in the walls of a Church, getting into the business of life is Incarnational. My friend Ron Robinson's Third Place ministry in Turley (surely a forgotten place, if ever there was one) is a wonderful example of the Incarnation being lived in view of all.
But also, all human suffering, misery, depression, and darkest despair is our concern because Christ walked with us there also. When my late wife suffered in the pain of her cancer, Jesus was there, with her, with me, going through that agony. There is no human condition that Jesus did not share with us, apart from sin.
In dealing with pain and suffering in this broken world, Archbishop Rowan's words speak to me: "There is something about Christianity that always pulls us back from imagining that everything will be all right if we can find the right things to say - because for God, the right thing to say at Christmas was the crying of a small Child, beginning a life of risk and suffering. God shows us how, by His grace and in His Spirit, we can respond to the tormenting riddles of the world."
That the Word of God, Who was with God from the beginning, and Who is God should have become flesh, not just putting on some sort of human "skin suit", but becoming flesh, recreates all human experience into a new place, one that God Himself deigned to dwell.
So tonight, in the candles, incense, and songs of the devout, may we greet once again, the Lord of Glory!
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by Your daily visitation, that Your Son Jesus Christ, at His coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for Himself; Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.