Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ready or Not

The great game of Hide and Seek begins with people hiding. Eventually, after a count to a hundred or something less, the seeker, the one who is it, announces, “ready or not, here I come!” Everyone else quietly waits, either to be found or to make it home, before being found. I was never quite sure if it was the first person, or the last to be found who was it in the next round. Never the less, it was hours of cheap fun.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent brings us all the closer to Christmas and the great celebration of the Incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us, and the birth of Jesus the Christ. The Gospel appointed for today (Luke 1:39-45) is the story of Mary and Elizabeth meeting; two cousins, two women, one pregnant with John the Baptist, the other pregnant with Jesus. It was for them, a time of anticipation, hope and waiting. Anticipation, hope and waiting are familiar Advent themes.

The promise of Advent is about to be fulfilled, not with presents under a tree, or sugar plums dancing in our heads but in the birth of Jesus Christ in us. Ready or not, it will happen. That’s the point: that the Christ is born in each of us.

Meister Eckhart, a German theologian from the 13th century wrote, “We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all eternity... But if it takes not place in me, what avails it? Everything lies in this, that it should take place in me.”

My prayer this Christmas is that each of us will give birth to Christ and that we will be transformed into his very likeness. Christ with us, Christ in us. Amen.

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