This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and has appeared unto us…” (Ps 117/118: 24-27) Indeed, He appears unto us. He shows up. This is the Great Fact for us, which we celebrate in the great feasts of His appearance(s): Nativity and Theophany. The very first step of Christ’s self-giving, self-sacrifice, is His showing up. Just like our own self-giving, in any relationship, begins with just showing up; being there. As I prepare for the feast, let me “rejoice and be glad in it,” in quiet contemplation of His self-giving, of His showing up, despite the awkward and even perilous consequences. He shows up, despite the poverty, despite the disturbance of the status quo (for Herod & Co.), despite the lack of financial and emotional resources for a proper welcome. He shows up, to offer new fellowship, new communion, with Him and in Him. So let me also show up today, for Him and for others, despite the vulnerability or any sacrifice this may entail. And let me be there to “bless Him from the house of the Lord,” sharing in the vision of His appearance among us. It is the appearance of “the One who comes” into my life, again and again, so that I, in my turn, can come and greet Him and others in His name. “The Lord is God, and has appeared unto us.” Glory be to Him.

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