Christmas Eve is filled with anticipation. There is a special aura about it. Children feel the excitement of Santa and Christmas morning. Adults each hold their own store of memories. The Christmas story is heard sung in carols and it mellows our hearts. We have spent Advent in the darkest time of the year, and the darkness of our nation lies heavy on our hearts. We wait in expectation for light to come. Christmas holds the promise of good news. There is a sense of hope. We wish one another happiness and for this special time we are aware of ”God with us.”
Let every heart prepare him room.
Reflect on the symbols of Christmas and probe their meaning for you.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent Jesus, born of a woman, born under the Law.
For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a peopleas his own, eager to do what is good.
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son… He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
We attend Christmas services in great numbers …because they move us. They touch our hearts. The symbolism is remarkable and remarkably powerful. They begin in darkness and proclaim new life. In the midst of our winter darkness, the midnight service on Christmas Eve celebrates Jesus, the light in our darkness, the light of the world who shines in our heart. We sing, “Let every heart prepare him room”. The Christian life is about a new heart, an open heart, a heart of flesh, a heart of compassion. The Christian life is about the Spirit of God opening our hearts.
We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas time not in a cold manger of our heart but in a heart full of love and humility, in a heart so pure and so warm with love for one another.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
In night’s deep silence,
Clear a voice rings through
Rise up, ye shepherds,
God is born to you:
Quickly now and go ye over.
Seek where Bethlehem
star does hover
Haste to greet your Lord.
The people in darkness have seen a great light For a child has been born his dominion is wide. For who has known the mind of God To God be glory forever.
Gentle Night CD
The Christmas story will always be the story of God here with us in the ordinary, the everyday, the chaos, the shabbiness of a stable, the flight into exile, the love between a man and a woman, the birth of a child and of people despised because of their lowly social status.