Isn’t interesting how often the name of Christ is upon the lips of folk during this season yet without any regard for the incarnate one who can and is present among us. Merry Christmas, is the greeting, Christmas Sale shouts the advertising sign, and post early for Christmas the message from the Post Office.
The word Christmas is a strange word if you think about it. Christ meaning anointed one and the word Mass, associated with the Eucharist recalling the sacrificial death of Jesus. In other words the celebration of the birth and death of the anointed one. What a theological conundrum just in that one word.
My companion writer through the last nine months, Fred Beuchner tells of a surprising Christmas revelation.
He writes, “One Christmas Eve, exhausted, about to go to bed having put all the presents under the tree, I remembered that our neighbour had asked us to feed his sheep every day he was gone.
The snow was falling -- this was in Vermont - my brother and I went down the hill to feed the sheep. We went into the barn and we got the bales of hay. We took them out into the sheep shed, cut the string, turned on the forty-watt bulb and began scattering the hay.
The sheep came bumbling up, getting close to it. With the smell of the hay, the smell of the sheep and the snow coming down, all of a sudden I realised where I was.
I was in the manger and I almost missed it. I was in this holy place and I might not even have seen it. I happened to see it. It seems to me that in a way, you could say that the world itself is a manger where God is continually being born into our lives, into the things that happen to us.
Most of the time, if you are like me, you are looking the other way."
LET CHRIST be born in you!
Let hope be born,
Let love be born.
Let newness of heart be born in you!
Let gentleness be born,
Let truth be born.
Let concern for the poor be born in you!
Let generosity be born,
Let compassion be born.
Let close communion with God be born in you!
Let prayer be born,
Let action be born.
Let the faith to take up your cross and follow be born in you!
And let it lead you in the ways of our Lord,
For the sake of our Lord. Now and always. Amen.
– Alive Now
From Alive Now,November/December 2003. Copyright © 2003 CCLI 814800