Capturing the magnitude of the mystery of Christmas is difficult. Secular Christmas celebrations are godless. Too often, even our own can be clichéd. But let us be like Mary and ponder this divine mystery:
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, he the source, the ending he, Of the things that are, that have been, and the future years shall see Evermore and evermore. Oh, that birth forever blessed when the virgin full of grace, By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bore the Savior of our race, And the babe, the world’s Redeemer, first revealed his sacred face Evermore and evermore.
This is he whom heav’n taught singers sang of old with one accord; Whom the Scriptures of the prophets promised in their faithful word. Now he shines, the long expected; let creation praise its Lord Evermore and evermore.
Let the heights of heav’n adore him, angel hosts his praises sing, Pow’rs, dominions bow before him and extol our God and King. Let no tongue on earth be silent, ev’ry voice in concert ring Evermore and evermore. – Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. 400 AD) in CW 35.
The Christmas season celebrates the Incarnation of the Son of God. The eternal Word became flesh that he might be the Christ, anointed to redeem God’s people. God had to become man to live under the law and die in our place. Christ’s birth, then, is intimately connected to his death: Good Friday necessitated Christmas. So great is the love of God that even though our sin required such a sacrifice, the Light of the world still descended into our darkness.
By December 25, the secular world is done with Christmas, after gorging itself on it since November. The Church, however, spends four Advent weeks preparing and now spends the Twelve Days of Christmas praising God for the Incarnation. The Twelve Days of Christmas culminate on January 6, the festival of the Epiphany of Jesus. During this time, may you continue to prepare your hearts and marvel at how God fulfills his promises to you. Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth! In thanks to God, Vicar David Young