TODAY THE VIRGIN GIVES BIRTH
“Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, / And the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! / Angels with shepherds glorify Him! / The wise men journey with a star! / Since for our sake the Eternal God is born as a Little Child!” (Byzantine Kontakion-hymn, Feast of the Nativity of our Lord)
Today is not just any other day. Today, the earthly gives birth to the not-earthly, and the Earth offers hospitality to the One not-of-this-world. Today, the very down-to-earth shepherds glorify God with the heavenly angels, and the “wise men” of this world allow themselves to be led by a “star”! Because Christmas is a feast of unity; of all of God’s creation, both visible and invisible, coming together, in an unlikely manner, as the heretofore-invisible God appears amongst us, “as a Little Child,” in the visible flesh.
As God breaks into my little, physical world today, let me let Him elevate me, in an unlikely and unexpected manner, to unity with all His creation, both visible and invisible. Whatever my “earthly” occupation is today, – whether I’m a simple “shepherd” tending to some hard work in my “fields,” or whether I’m a “wise man” pursuing the “stars” of intellectual concepts, – let me let God enter into this picture, as I open my heart to Him. Because today the “Unapproachable One” invites all of us to become “approachable,” into communion with Him and all of His creation, regardless of who or how we are. Because it’s “for our sake,” however un-approachable we might be, in our everyday occupations, that “the Eternal God is born as a Little Child.” Merry Christmas!