Thundering back and forth across the Universe, the shouts of joy and wonder echo down even to the Land of the Dead. And on those who dwelt in the Land of Gloom a Light shines. A great shout erupts! A wild cheer tears through what only moments before was the endless night of sad weeping and regret:
"The curse," they roar with delight "the Ancient Curse that doomed us is broken!" "Our Savior is born!"
The prophets beam with joy; Adam and Eve link arms and dance. The time of waiting is finally at an end. The Lord has kept His promise; the Messiah has come!
And in the nether reaches of deepest Hell, even the shrieking of the fallen angels cannot drown out the Cosmic Shout of Joy, the Hymn of All Creation.
Christ the Savior is Born!
And the Devil wails aloud: "No!" he bellows, "It’s not possible. It’s not fair!"
But the Gentle Voice of Heaven heard for the first and only time ever in Hell’s black Halls reminds him sadly: "But you’ve made your choice. You had your chance; now my people shall have theirs."
But sly Satan speaks softly now: "Oh, but Lord, they don’t deserve it! See how they treat you! They are not worthy of such a gift!"
And the Lord God smiles and says: "No, they’re not. But I love them."
And on the Earth, a mother holds her child . . . and thus unfolds the Great Story, the Story of our Salvation, a Story so improbable that no human fantasy could have conceived it, the Story of Emmanuel, God-Among-Us.
God has set aside His Glory to become one of us. And together with all Creation we stand wide-eyed and wondering how such a gift, how such Love could come to us.
And right here, right now, spread out before us is the whole of our Salvation, the entire sweep of the panorama of God’s Love . . . from the humble manger which sheltered Christ’s Holy Birth, we look up, wonder upon wonder growing in our eyes, gratitude swelling in our hearts, to behold the Cross on which Christ’s Holy Death gives us Birth to everlasting life.
From the wood of the manger, made a rough bed for God’s humanity, to the wood of the Cross made the Throne from which Christ reigns, we gaze with astonishment, the astonishment of child on Christmas Morn. And we ask: "Why? Why would He do this for Us? Why lay aside the Glory of Heaven? Why endure the suffering, the humiliation, the indignity, the unutterable smallness of becoming a man? Surely not because He had to!"
Seated on His Throne of Glory, surrounded by the Host of Heaven, God could have saved us, wiped out Adam’s Sin, restored us to holiness with the blink of an eye.
With the snap of a divine finger, He could have dispatched an Angel from heaven to redeem us, to make us whole.
So why? Why the scandal of being born in a stable? Why the marvel of the Incarnation?
Because He didn’t just want us to be saved . . . He wanted to save us Himself with His own Hands, with His own Body, with His own Blood.
Because He wants to be close to us, to share in absolutely everything that is ours: all our struggles, all our pains, even death; to share all that it is to be human, so that one day we could share in everything that is His!
For He wants us to know how deep, how vast, how reckless is His Love for each of us.
This is the Eternal Mystery; this, the Great Secret; this, the reason for the Divine Condescension. That is why God became man, leapt down from heaven, became Emmanuel, God with Us.
Two thousand years have passed. Christ was born. And He longs to be born today, so that those who live NOW in the Land of Gloom, might NOW see His Great Light.
He waits to be born in you, to shine through you. You, His lampstand, His heralds.