Luke 1-2: Behold the Christ
The Nativity – detail
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2016
In this final week of Advent, let us decide to make our hopes tangible, our dreams a prayer for our reality, our faith unwavering and our love secure. Let us cleave to the Creator, follow the Redeemer and rest in the Spirit. This week let us give one another the gift of preparing for the very real promise of eternity.
The high priest Zechariah learns patience so that he might behold Emmanuel, God Among Us. While he awaits the birth of his only child who will become the announcer and baptizer of the Christ, he waits in patient hope until the day his speech returns.
And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.” (Luke 1:20)
The girl Mary learns that God can do the impossible when the angel Gabriel visits her with the astounding news that she will bring the Light of the World to waiting humanity.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. (Luke 1:31)
Mary learns the astounding news that her elderly cousin Elizabeth has conceived life. An affirmation that with God, all things are possible.
And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. (Luke 1:36)
Mary learns that her confidence in God is rewarded as she responds with her, “Yes,” to God’s invitation to enter into union with all of creation in a most special way.
And Mary said, “Behold, the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)
Elizabeth learns that her young cousin Mary is the new ark of the new Word. These kinswomen greet one another just as each of us might if we understand God’s message of hope.
For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. (Luke 1:44)
The marginalized shepherds learn the redeeming news that the Messiah has come to live among them as a vulnerable child.
But the angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; (Luke 2:10)
The wise man Simeon learns that his outrageous hope has been rewarded. He has met the Savior of the World, just as God has promised.
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— (Luke 2:34)
The woman Mary learns that this child she must share with world for the redemption of all is fully human and fully divine.
When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” (Luke 2:48)
Each of us is given the opportunity on this Good Night to become apostles of Christ. Each of us might carry Christ within and share him with the world. Each of us truly human and truly divine as our brother Jesus tells us. Each of us is given the gift of this Nochebuena, this wonderful Good Night. Let us rejoice with the shepherds. Let us give our confident “yes” to God’s plan. And let us behold the marvelous gift we hold in our hands.
In the Hispanic culture Christmas Eve bears the title of Nochebuena. Read more about this custom at: http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/spain.shtml
These verses are taken from the NASB translation of Luke. Other versions open this story so that our ears might hear, our eyes might see, and our hearts might open wide to welcome Christ into our lives in a very real, very human, very divine way.
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