Read Isaiah 52:7-10.
There’s something special about the penultimate, the almost-end. In music, the penultimate chord in a closing chord progression often contains the most interesting harmonies – not yet resolved but full of anticipation, leading and pointing toward what comes just after.
That is, perhaps, where we find ourselves on Christmas Eve, this penultimate day before the birth of Christ. We wait in anxious expectation of what is to come. We hold vigil, awaiting the arrival of perfect peace in the form of the Incarnate God. Our voices, rising over the flickering candlelight, beckoning the coming of the Christ-Child like the singing of Isaiah’s sentinels: keeping watch together, singing for joy.
Enjoy today. Enjoy the waiting, the hoping, the expectation. Enjoy the taste of peppermint and the smell of cypress and fir; enjoy the sound of jingling bells and the smoothness of wrapping paper on those last-minute gifts. Enjoy the carols and the hot chocolate and the time you spend with your family and friends who feel like family. Present in each of these is an intangible joy, which embodies the fullness of the in-breaking of God into this world.
This is our last day of waiting. God is nearly here. Take a moment and imagine a world filled with Incarnate Light: abundant tables, welcomed strangers, cared-for creation. The arrival of Christ is a celebration. It is also an invitation to participate in this Good-News bringing, Light-Bearing life. Revel in the not-yet-resolved, and prepare yourself to join the unending song.
God of Light, we wait in hope and expectation for the Mystery unfolding before our eyes. Help us to prepare our hearts and minds for your Incarnate love, that we might be ready to share that love with the world. Amen.
Rev. Anna Owens
Associate Pastor/Campus Minister