The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia
1 John 2.29-3.6 | Psalm 98.8-10 | John 1.29-34
You promised that you would come, and actually made good your promise. But how, O Lord, how did you come? You did it by taking a human life as your own. You became like us in everything: born of a woman, you suffered under Pontius Pilate, were crucified, died, and were buried. And thus you took up again the very thing we wanted to discard. You began what we thought would end with your coming: our poor human kind of life, which is sheer frailty, finiteness, and death. Contrary to all our fond hopes, you seized upon precisely this kind of human life and made it your own. And you did this not in order to change or abolish it, not so that you could visibly and tangibly transform it, not to divinize it. No, you took upon yourself our kind of life, just as it is. You let it slip away from you, just as ours vanishes from us. It is said that you will come again, and this is true. But the word again is misleading. It won't really be "another" coming, because you have never really gone away. In the human existence that you made for your own for all eternity, you have never left us. Behold, you come.
And your coming is neither past nor future, but the present, which has only to reach its fulfilment. Now it is still the one single hour of your Advent, at the end of which we too shall have found out that you have really come.
O God our Father, who sent the Son to be born for us as the Prince of Peace, whom the innumerable company of the heavenly host praised, saying, Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will towards men: Grant that the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of Christ and learn from him the way of peace. Send forth among all the spirit of goodwill and reconciliation, so that all thy children may live together as one family, praising thee and blessing you for the great redemption which you have wrought for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lyuba Yatskiv (Ukraine, 1977- ). Icon of the Nativity.
Franz Liszt. Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas Tree), for piano four hands,
played by Pinuccia Giarmanà and Anessandro Lucchetti.
Scherzoso, Carillon, Schlummerlied, Altes Provenzalisches Weihnachtslied.
May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.