Tonight churches will ring out with candle-lit renditions of “Silent Night” and recitations of good news of great joy for all people announced to shepherds. There will be pageants: young Marys and Josephs staring awkwardly at a doll baby Jesus as magi and angels tussle for position. Still, in bitter cold; still, with Covid cases ticking back up; still, the war on Christmas winning; still, tonight churches host a story everyone still needs to hear–about a baby laid in a manger because there was no room in the inn, because God wants that badly to be God with us.
We know who God is because of what God has done. The story narrates action and it communicates essence and identity. That God is loving and gracious and merciful–we know these attributes through actions, not simply as philosophical propositions. God is as God does, thanks be to God.
We are as we do as well. The good news is that meaningful engagement with the world, as individuals and as churches, need not wait until we have discovered our identity. The engagement makes the identity. The waiting, too, makes an identity, a different identity from the one that acts. “Be not afraid.” “Go.” This is what the story would have us do, and in so doing these are the people we become.
One thought on “Christmas Eve”
“God is as God does.” Very well put, as ever. Thanks for the reminder that God does through people, including us. Merry Christmas.