Silent Night

     It is already getting dark here–I sat alone in the rain and just let it pour.  I felt the poverty of spirit all around me.  We have no lights, no decorations, a sorry excuse for a tree.  We have few presents, late Christmas cards, and lots of sorrow.
     But as I sat in the rain, I felt relief.
     What is tonight about?  What are we celebrating?
     We are celebrating a God who comes in the darkness.
     We are celebrating a God who comes into poverty of body and spirit.
     We are celebrating a God who comes in the midst of sin–the sin of emperors, governors, business folk, friends, and family.
     We are celebrating a God who comes–humble, defenseless, poor, meek, and innocent.
     He comes to us, only then to be poorly understood, falsely accused, and put to death.  His life seemed like a failure.  His relationships mostly failed.  His mission, by all appearances, failed.  Then he was put to death by his enemies–they seemed to have the final word.
     Tonight is about saying “Yes” to this God, this God who became Man, who became vulnerable and weak and poor.
     It is about saying “Yes” to this God who knows how to be alone, to be abandoned, to be treated unjustly.
     It is about finding one’s life, one’s hope, one’s friendship, one’s consolation, one’s joy in this God-Man.
     It is about this God-Man being enough.  He is enough for a person’s happiness.  He is enough to repair one’s heart, to heal one’s heart, to fill one’s heart.
     A good life is not outward success.  It is not money.  It is not having a glowing ego that the world adores.  It is not about the expression of our talents.  It is not about having the perfect family and friends.
     A good life is a life given over and made afresh by this God-Man, Jesus.
     A good life is a having a heart born anew like the babe we celebrate tonight.
     I look forward to “Christ’s Mass” (Christmas) tonight–offered in the lonely darkness.
     May He come, may I see Him afresh, may I see who He is in richer, more profound, less distorted way.  May He be born in my heart again tonight, and may His Spirit SHINE with JOY.  Joy, yes, to the WORLD.