Silent Light: O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.

God is with us.

Infinity invisible: He is asleep in the dark waters of a virgin’s womb, so small that His presence is only given away by a swelling belly.

So quiet, so still: The valley is loud with voices, animal hooves, and the creak of carts as the caravan journeys to Bethlehem. But the Word who spoke this valley into existence practices breaths that cannot be heard.

Love is fragile: The Prime Mover of Creation kicks His tiny legs and moves His little arms. But that kick sends His mother into raptures of love.

Yes, God is with us. The Creator has stepped into creation. The lover is encircled by the beloved. His son and foster father guides him to Bethlehem, where human eyes will behold God and not die.

The shepherds are in the fields like they are every day, barely noticing the clear blue sky that overshadows them. They have no idea that tomorrow night, that sky will be ablaze with light and their own hearts will leap like lambs.

Herod is pacing in his palace, his mind overcome with fear of how he could be overthrown. He does not know that nearby, the King of Kings is carried on a donkey with an immaculate womb for a chariot.

Inside Bethlehem, a woman sobs as she prepares her dead baby for burial. A man stands on a roof, his hope caving in. A slave child weeps for the parents she has not seen in years. They cannot see it, but God is with them. He comes to open heaven so that mother and child can embrace again. He is here to strengthen the quivering heart and tell the despairing soul that his life is necessary. He is here to weep with the abused and to promise justice and mercy.

He is here in this dark, grief-stricken world. He is here in the world that will seek His life from its very beginning. He is here, with closed eyes that will cry, with hands that will be pierced, with a heart that will burst.

And He is here with infinite love that shatters death’s darkest schemes. He is here with a quiet presence that cannot be feared, only received. He is here as a fragile member of the human race – perfection enclosed in vulnerable skin. He is Emmanuel.

Tomorrow, He will come. Regardless of the lies you have believed, the sin you have committed, the poverty of your life, He will come. He will come into the ugliness of a cave, redeeming the darkest night with His purifying fire. Tomorrow, He will be too weak to speak – but He will tell you that you are unimaginably loved. His presence will cry out that in this world, you will have trouble. You will suffer, you will be sick, your heart will break. But take courage, dear heart. For tomorrow He comes to suffer with you, to be sick with you, to weep with you. And He also comes to bind up your wounds, to heal your illness, to wipe away your tears. Tomorrow, Love will conquer the world. He is here.

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