today i quote from brennan manning about Christ's presence in Christmas. we can lament that Christ is out of Christmas, or we can keep our eyes open and celebrate that Christ is in every moment of this blessed season:
once a year the Christmas season strikes both the sacred and secular spheres of life with sledgehammer force: suddenly Jesus Christ is everywhere. for approximately one month his presence is inescapable. you may accept him or reject him, affirm him or deny him, but you cannot ignore him. of course he is proclaimed in speech, song, and symbol in all the Christian churches. but he rides every red-nosed reindeer, lurks begind every cabbage patch doll, resonates in the most desacralized "season's greetings." remotely or proximately, he is toasted in every cup of Christmas cheer. each sprig of holly is a hint of his holiness, each cluster of mistletoe a sign he is here.
for those who claim his name, Christmas heralds this luminous truth: the God of jesus Christ is our abslute future. such is the deeply hopeful character of this sacred season. by God's free doing in bethlehem, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Light, life, and love are on our side.
"the virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." -Matthew 1:23