By Becky Ahlberg
Tuesday, December 22
“We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice.”—Pope Paul VI
The incarnation is a moment in history, but it also is a moment (or moments) for each one of us when “God with us” becomes a personal encounter. Recognizing that encounter changes things. There’s a palpable “before and after” that may not be definable, but it is discernable. It may come over time or in a deep “aha!” moment, but its effects are profound. It’s what drives us to carry on, even when we doubt. It’s what moves us to risk, even when we can’t see a way. It’s what comforts us when we have no explanations for the difficult things of life. It’s what brings euphoric rejoicing when our calling is confirmed as God uses us to make a difference. He is with us.
“Oh come to us, abide in us, our Lord, Immanuel” (from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”). “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).