Vigil of the Feast of Christmas
We are privileged in today's first scripture reading, to listen in on a three-way conversation. David is resting in peace within his palace. He seems to have a little guilt about his being in such a fine place and God dwells in the Arc which is in a tent. Nathan listens to David and tells him to do what he has to do.
Now we listen in on God's telling Nathan to tell David to "get smart." God says that it was God alone who has done everything for David, has made him king, has put all the enemies under his rule and it has been God alone Who has been with David always. "Should you build me a house to dwell in?" "I will fix a place for My people, Israel." The Lord will establish a house for David which shall endure for ever.
We are listening to God reviewing the ancient history and the new building plans He has for David and Israel and ourselves. The house will not be of cedar nor canvas, nor gold and granite; it will be of immortal flesh.
We hear in the gospel reading today, what is known as "The Benedictus." It is the prophesy by Zechariah, "blest be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited His people." Within the House of David, God has raised a servant as God had promised through the prophets. The promise once made long ago is being kept. This has been done so that we, "through all our days be holy in His sight." "All this is the work of the kindness of our God."
It is Christmas Eve. God has not kept his distance; He has kept His promise. God has built a house, a dwelling amongst us. There is mystery all around us. We wait and watch for what Christmas will be this year. We pray quietly so that we might hear the great announcement that we are not merely visited, but sought for, desired, embraced, and beloved.
What we wait for with great anticipation this day is not merely Santa, but again the great surprise that God has moved in and claimed us again as belonging to His House, Christ the New-Born, the ancient-One, the Gift of Gifts. "O come Immanuel, God's presence among us, our King, our Judge, save us Lord our God."
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