IS 52: 7-10
PS 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
JN 1: 1-18 OR JN 1: 1-5, 9-14
Today is the day! The presents are waiting underneath the tree, the stockings are full, the baby Jesus’ are placed in the mangers, and the celebration of Christmas comes to its climax. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming”. During the advent season we await the coming of our Lord, Jesus. Today we sit in awe. In awe that a God so mighty and ungraspable would humble Godself to become a human baby boy, so small and weak.
He has been born. The Savior is here. I believe that this day is a celebration of hope; a celebration of things known and felt becoming tangible and real. For the secular world that is the arrival of presents from Santa Claus. Children of the world feel this fulfilment of hope to see that the cookies are gone, the milk has been drunk, and the presents await.
We can learn a lot from the children who believe so fervently in Santa. While we come to know that Santa is not real, rather a magical figment of imagination that is the secular celebration of Christmas, there is a real conviction in the lives of 2-10 year olds who believe. John’s gospel tells us that for “those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.”
Jesus is the tangible revelation of God. When we believe in him we are given the gift to be called children of God. Believing in things unseen is a staple to any faith, especially when connecting with a God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omnipotent, in other words, completely and totally out of our capacity to grasp. Today we are to sit in awe, simply beholding. The First reading proclaims “…all the ends of the earth will BEHOLD the salvation of our God”. We are witness to something big and beautiful. But we are called to do more than behold; we are called to announce what we know, feel and see to others.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news…” This mountain, where glad tidings and good news come from, is a place of rest, revival and renewal of hope. We are not meant to live on the mountain top, just like we are not meant to live our life solely beholding. There is a greater call to action; a further request to share the good news.
Christmas is a time for profound hope and joy. We are called to come down from the mountain, to go forth from Christmas day, to share with our brothers and sisters the newfound light and hope within us. Coming down from the mountain is never easy, but as the first reading states “how beautiful” it is to share the light of God, that still shines as brightly as it did 2000 years ago, shinning through a beautiful baby boy.
I wish you a day of rest, laughter, joy, renewal, wonderment and cheer. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Hannah Sattler is a junior majoring in Social Work and minoring in Theological Studies.