Christmas eve

2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16; Psalm 88:2-5,27,29 (LXX); Luke 1:67-79


For I have said, ‘Lovingkindness will be built up forever;
In the heavens Thou wilt establish Thy faithfulness.
(Ps 88.2)

And…Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For he has visited us and accomplished redemption
for his people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David his servant…
To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet in the way of peace.
(Lk 1.67-69, 77-79)

. . .

God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness bear fruit; there is nothing idle about the character of our God. God’s ‘bottomless mercy’ (as one translation has it) does not just wait for us to return, but meets us on Christmas morning. God’s own joy comes to us, in tenderness and mercy, in faithfulness and love. I want to be caught up in that joy this Christmas, to be held secure in that love, which is eternal and unshakeable. And I want to know to the core of my being that Christmas means the saying is true which says:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
(Zeph 3.17)

So I welcome the coming of John the Baptist, not least in my own heart, to make the way for Love to come into the world, for joy divine to enliven our hearts, to light the way for those (like me) who walk in darkness, and to guide our feet in the way of peace. Indeed, He who is coming is our peace, our light, our salvation. Let Love come tenderly and mightily, and find a dwelling place in me. Let it be done to me according to His will.
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