Maybe it is a greed on my part, this desire I have to celebrate Christmas again, six months after December 25th. Or maybe it reveals a desire to live outside the constraints of time, to deny that I live in a time-bound world. Or maybe it’s because I remember what fun it was to celebrate Christmas in July every summer at camp.
But truly, I want to celebrate Christmas today because once every twelve months is not enough to marvel at the wonder of the incarnation, of God taking on flesh.
A few years ago day I spoke with a man about this, after he commented that Islam and Protestantism had a lot in common.
“Yes, ” I replied, “except for Jesus.”
“Jesus ate and drank,” he answered. “God doesn’t do that.”
We chatted a little longer about the mystery of God becoming man, me from the position of belief, him from the position of unbelief.
Finally he asked me a question, almost with disdain, to prove that Jesus was just a man. “What has Jesus ever created?”
My response was a paraphrase of Colossians 1.
“He is the image of the invisible God.
by Him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by Him and for Him.”
No, once a year is not enough. So today, I’d suggest you put on your favorite Christmas hymns and spend a little time reading these two ancient meditations on this great miracle.
Bethlehem has opened Eden:
Come, let us see!
We have found joy hidden!
Come, let us take possession of the paradise within the cave.
There the unwatered stem has appeared,
from which forgiveness blossoms forth!
There the undug well is found
from which David longed to drink of old!
There the Virgin has borne a child,
and at once the thirst of Adam and David is made to cease.
Therefore let us hasten to this place
where for our sake the eternal God was born as a little child!
Ikos of the Nativity of the Lord
Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.
Bernard of Clairvaux