Grace upon Grace

“But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”  Luke’s second chapter, read last night at church, suggests that Christmas Eve is the most tender night of the year.  Anyone who has given birth–to a child, to a relationship, to anything or anyone new–has known vulnerability, has known surrender.  On Christmas Eve, we are called to treasure all we are given and like Mary, to ponder these wonders in our hearts.  Last night we sang:

“Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,

we would embrace thee, with love and awe;

who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him,

O come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.”

The Gospel for Christmas Day is from John’s first chapter:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being with him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it…  And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…  From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

We move from the most tender moments on Christmas Eve into the almost unbearable brightness of Christmas Day.  Now the Light is among us, now we are One, now we stand in the shining glory of all that is good and all that is holy.  Now we are called to become again the messengers of truth, the architects of peace, the heralds of grace upon grace.  Let us receive with joy the gifts we are given, and let us give with joy all that is ours to give–to those we love and to our world that still patiently waits for Love.

Merry Christmas!

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