Hail to the Lord’s Anointed 2
He comes with succor speedy
To those who suffer wrong:
To help the poor and needy,
And bid the weak be strong:
And give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls condemned and dying,
And precious in his sight.
For the final Sunday of Advent, we learned the laws of nature are no barrier to God's saving grace and His actions. The Annunciation was when God entered into human life, when Mary received and consented to the presence of the Holy Spirit and the promise of the birth of Jesus. It was the point in history that God Himself put on our human flesh. As it says in John 1:14: "The word became flesh and lived among us and we saw his glory." From the words of a song, "Mary kiss your baby boy, kiss the face of God," Jesus came into the world as a vulnerable infant so, in part, to grow into adulthood and to know firsthand our journey in life. He then loved us so much that He died on a cross for us to forgive us our sinfulness.
The Son of God came to us in our humanity and cared for those who were most in need and were sick. As it says throughout the Gospels, "Jesus cured many people of disease and afflictions and gave sight to the blind." (Luke 7:21-22) He healed lepers, the lame, and raised to life those who had died. He always responded to the last, the lost and the least. For Jesus, there was no Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, insider or outsider. He came for all people—all of us—that our darkness might “turn to light.”
Advent helps us focus on the meaning of Christmas, to reflect on where in our lives and in our world we see wrong and suffering and darkness, and to be reassured that Jesus’ arrival into all of this offers us hope for a different future. Because of this, there is so much joy at Christmas, even in the time of a pandemic. So we will gather (in smaller groups) to exchange gifts and memories of times past and—I am sure!—enjoy some very good food.
(On a personal note, when I was young in London during WWII, we had a worry that you did not have here in America. We did not want Santa Claus to be shot down during an air raid on Christmas Eve. We were always glad that he made the flight safely and the gifts got through!)
I invite you to pray with me today: Thank you, God, that Your Son came into the world and into our hearts and lives once again. Amen.
Have a Christ-filled Christmas and a better New Year!