O Holy Night!
I must confess that the advent of our Lord is perplexing. It is incomprehensible to think that the infinity of God would ever come into the finitude of "the flesh." It is with this that I find it impossible to understand that Christ, the healer and redeemer of the world, would ever come as a helpless baby. But beyond all thoughts or comprehension comes a moment in history, expressed through the profound words of an old hymn, in which the pain and strife of the world encounters a bright light:
"Long lay the world in sin and error pining
'Til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn"
In the bleakness of our dim and dismal winter comes the light of the world! It is beyond all grasping that I come to the manger this year, and in the midst of my longing and pining and the throes of my life I am touched by the one who has come to draw near to me. It is so that I look at "the King of kings [who] lay thus in lowly manger" and rejoice in the fact that "in all our trials [he is] born to be our friend / [as] He knows our need, for our weakness is no stranger." My mind cannot grasp this and I come to the tide of Christmas with a mind baffled with the fact of Jesus' birth. But while my mind is confounded my heart is stirred to sing as it gazes at the one who has come to heal and save. It is with this that I enter into the manger this year to look at the one who has taken on flesh and blood. It is a mystery indeed, and I am helpless to ever understand this meaning in full. But beyond all reason I find that Emmanuel has comes to touch the depths of my heart, and as he touches me I find that I am healed. It is with such encounter that I am drawn to worship and to "behold [my] King [and] before Him lowly bend."