Dec 19, 2017
The story that we narrate and celebrate at Christmas needs no rehearsal. We know it by heart. The story has ancient roots in the world before Christ. He who was born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago had long been expected. The prophet Isaiah foretold a child who would break the yoke that bowed the people's spirit.
As at the first Christmas, the Prince of Peace comes now to join us amidst the harsh realities of the present: a world torn apart, nations at war, and widespread political turmoil. And there is always the danger of World War III as terrorist nations and groups get hold of the worst and most powerful weapons of destruction ever conceived by human madness.
As of now, there are over sixty million unborn American dead - on the feast of birth. The earth is beset by hunger, homelessness, human trafficking, terrorism, child abuse, and the suppression of women in the name of religion. In much of the world, poverty and wealth are growing further and further apart.
Throughout Advent, we have sung the words, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” Now we give thanks that Christ, Emmanuel, has come.
To call Christ “Emmanuel,” God with us, means that his love and peace penetrate the world’s darkest realities. From him we learn how to cope in the midst of adversity. He shows us who we are; what is important; and how to live. He opens our barren hearts to new possibilities. Out of the darkness of Christmas comes light: light for peace and growth, courage and strength, hope and confidence.