“Celebrating the Birth”
“For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given.” Isaiah 9:6
Rejoicing! Excitement! Wonder! A Promise Fulfilled!
Everyone who has ever held a newborn infant in their arms knows the overwhelming feelings of wonder and awe, joy and love that spring up inside us at that time. And indeed, every new life is a wonder-filled miracle sent from God to bless his world in a unique way. Yet, the miracle of Christmas far surpasses that of every other birth.
The infant whose birth we celebrate today and throughout the season of Christmas (which extends through the feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 9th) is the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a savior to a world corrupted by the shame and defilement of sin.
Today we rejoice that our God has humbled himself to become one of us, to walk among us, to experience our trials and tribulations, to embrace us at our worst, to offer us forgiveness, to demonstrate unconditional love. The infant found lying in a manger by lowly shepherds, announced by a choir of angels, heralded by the brightest of new stars, and sought out by the wisest and wealthiest of strangers is the Son of God – and our brother! Let the celebration begin!
The Church will help us to celebrate throughout the Christmas season by sharing the Scriptures that foretold, recount, and explain all the astounding events; by singing the beautiful Christmas songs; by decorating and lighting up the Church and the grounds with reminders of this stupendous event. And we will continue the celebration in our homes and community with feasting, gift-giving, and other traditions passed down through the generations.
But maybe another way to celebrate this year would be to do as Mary did – to ponder all these things in our hearts. To reflect on what it means to hold the Christ Child in our arms and in our hearts. To allow the wonder and awe of this event to permeate our beings and transform our lives.