Anne Therese Dillen, O.S.U.
So much art; so much poetry; so much music–-all of it inspired by a singular happening! The Light has indeed come, placed not under a bushel basket but upon humble straw, in the form of a Child to be seen by the poor who, no doubt, sleep on straw themselves.
Such is the tableau drawn by the scriptural birth narrative surrounding the coming of God made visible in human form. It is a story accepted literally by some, metaphorically by others, and—by still others—a bit of each. What matters is that, down through the centuries, this “coming” continues to wield its impact on the world.
Bethlehem, however, is but a part of that “coming,” existing as it does in a continuum of God’s presence here and in all of Creation. He came; He comes; He will come, transcending the past/present/future tenses of the man-made convention we call “time.”
So we celebrate, again and again, that He arrives—reminding ourselves that He is always with us, and we re-enact the simple beauty of the Christmas story to allow our hearts to be warmed by the Light and by the fire of the Love which ignited it, then and now.
It is interesting to consider, too, how Mary is described in Revelation as clothed with the sun, crowned with twelve stars, the moon at her feet. Herself bathed by God in light, she gives birth to the Light, and the image of light has continued to be mirrored in the varied forms of Christmas lights we see, not only in our homes, but in profusion on just about every street.
This God of ours is, for me, symbolized by the lights which overcome the darkness, the myriad colors which defy winter’s gray, and the triumphal music which, as in the Halleluiah Chorus, plays my life out loud!