On December 24 … the Universe Awaits
But to me heard afar
it was starry music
The singing of the angels
the comfort of our Lord
Words of old that come a travelling by the riches of the times
And I softly listened as I stood upon the hill
And I softly listened as I stood upon the hill.
—Noel: Christmas Eve 1913, John Denver
This is the night of nights. This night, we await the joyous news that the word has been made flesh. Our Lord is to be born.
He is to be born, not to royalty and wealth, but of humanness and, yes, extraordinarily ordinary. His coming was promised to Israel, and his forebearers waited, waited, as we wait.
We have been expecting him, but God in his goodness decides all events, especially those where our mere mortal beings fail miserably. God knew from the beginning when his only begotten son would be brought among us.
It is dark.It is cold. It is when we gather with those closest to us. For those who have no one, who live alone, who are in a hospital bed, perhaps in their last night on earth, for those who have sought out warmth, but must exist on the periphery of our 21st century habit of disposing of that which does not suit us or make us comfortable.
Mary has endured discomfort, as has Joseph. They have arrived at the appointed time, and, as prescribed by the prophets, he will not be welcomed, except by those who may not realized they are called to Salvation History, but will be forever enshrined in it: the innkeeper taking the extra effort to make room, the shepherds watching their flocks, visited by angels with the Good News.
This is ahead..we can see it, too.
Softly listen … as you stand upon your hill … and see what we who love Our Lord see: He is coming, and we are ready.