Forty-five minutes until the Twelve Days of Christmas begin.
We have had some pain this year. Plans have been rearranged. Old customs have been changed to fit new times. Media keep telling us we live in perilous times and while media is often wrong, this is always true: a world that contains death always is perilous.
Yet if I stop and listen to the words of the Mother of God: “Let it be done unto Me. . .”, then I am unafraid. I am listening to Messiah and hearing the triumph of this Queen’s only Divine Son. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The path of humility, becoming a man when God, led to victory- absolute victory. Christ is born and this birth glorified Him!
Thirty minutes until the Twelve Days of Christmas begin.
Fireworks and celebratory gun shots sound over the city of Houston. I am hearing “We shall be changed” in my recording of Messiah and this pierces my heart. I know that death is defeated in birth at the Nativity. Life entered the world from the Virgin’s womb and all the dying has retreated before this reality since that moment.
I must be changed. Sometime in my twenties, this became my hope. I must be changed. Death, despair, and depression ruled over me. Christmas mocks death asking “Where is thy victory?” There is no victory for death. Everyone who dies is born again at Christmas.
Dad was telling me tonight about a pastor from his home church who stood in the pulpit, fell, and in the arms of his friend said: “Keep the faith.” He was victorious and death defeated. That day was his nativity into the City of God: the Constantinople kept in safety for all time.
Weakness is our strength. Our enemy is so cocky. Augustus does his bidding. Herod is his slave. All the powers temporal are on his side. All we have is Christmas.
Fifteen minutes until the Twelve Days of Christmas begin.
Herod was afraid and became a butcher. Power in the hands of the fearful is destructive to everyone, including the one trying to wield the power.
Against this I would put the joy of one small child I knew. Each year at Midnight Mass, he would slip out with me around 11: 59 and we would count down the seconds to the Nativity. We would shout with joy, go back inside, light our candle, receive the Body and Blood, and go home content.
The tyrants of this world have nothing to offer us.
In this Nativity is power, wisdom, and strength. Blessing and honor, glory and power, be to Him who now sits on the throne of the cosmos.
Christmas is here.
Nothing is ever the same in this changing world. Instead, we look to the root, the foundation, the eternal things. These things were triggered when Mary said “Let it be done. . . “ Love poured down from the Heavens and angels sang of the Love of God on High, that powerful Love that came to a manger, and so the will of God was fulfilled and humanity feasted with all creation world without end.
Christ is born!
Here is a Nativity greeting from frequent guest at this site, His Grace Bishop Thomas.