Christmas Eve – 12/24/2021
At the edge of the woods, at the edge of the meadow, a strong oak, limbs like arms raised in the orans position seem to lead evening prayer. It’s blue shadows, almost violet upon the snow, slant stretching further and further eastward.
A trio of blue jays in undulating flight cross the open field and alight in the oak. Their screeching calls pierce the quiet; they hop from branch to branch, finally settling into silence, looking westward in anticipation, as the sun slips silently below the horizon.
Thin, wispy clouds overhead are underlit with softs pinks and purples that spread the hues of sunset across the full sky – north to south and west to east – as if in a blessing to all who pause to look up and gaze upon it in wonder. Every sunset is a celebration that God is coming to his people.
The cloud wisps evaporate soon after the sun slips below the horizon and the sky deepens as twilight deepens – the blue – at first light and pale, now azure, then royal, and then cobalt as the sky continues to darken and then becomes the gateway to the heavens. The moon, glittering silver and full-orbed rises in the east. The shadows of the great oak, blackish-purple, reverse direction and now stretch westward upon the snow that mirrors back the mirrored light of the moon like an exchanged kiss.
The sky grows deeper and darker seeming to set the stars afire as it opens higher, higher and still higher. The vast night sky sings of the vastness of God. “Glory to God in the highest!” And yet – and yet even the vastness of God seeks out every simple heart that offers awareness, that offers welcome, that offers love, and dwells there. God is present in his creation. God is present within his creation.
All is calm; all is bright. Sacred night; holy night.
Christmas Bells are Ringing (Exhortation from St. Francis):
“May you announce and preach His praise to all nations in such a way that praise and thanks may always be given to the all-powerful God by all people throughout the world at every hour and whenever bells are rung.”
May the Christ Child dwell with you and all you love, this day and every day –