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Posted by Kris MacQueen
 - Dec 23, 2018, 8:56 pm

This is a bit unique from our usual "episodes". What follows is a 12 minute Christmas Eve meditation, hosted by Kris MacQueen. It's combination of personal reflection, prayer from the Common Book of Prayer and a couple of short, simple songs:

"Merry Christmas, friends. I would like to invite you to create around you as sacred a space as you can right now, wherever you're listening to this. If you are at home, be encouraged to turn off the lights and light five candles. 

The first four candles are the burning lights of advent. With each lit candle we acknowledge our longing for hope, for faith, for joy and for peace. In fact, it's the work of the advent season to nurture these flames in us... each one, points of light in the midst of darkness.

The fifth candle is the Christ candle. This light springs up as an answer to the longings carried by the advent candles. Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace, are each revealed and found in Christ, the light of the world. His is the light that will, in due time, erase every kind of darkness. His light is irrepressible and eternal.

Isaiah 9:2-7

9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.

9:3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.

9:4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

9:5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

9:6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

9:7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Sing: O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, o come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lowly exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice Rejoice Emmanuel 

Shall come to thee Oh Israel

Oh come thou day-spring come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death's dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice rejoice

Emmanuel shall come to thee oh Israel

With the apostle John we declare that "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... The true light that gives light to every man".

This night we make space to receive Christ newly again in our hearts.

2nd Corinthians 4:5-6 NEB

It is not ourselves we proclaim; we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus' sake. For the same God who said "Out of darkness let light shine," has caused his light to shine within us, to give the light of revelation-the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

O God who has caused this holy night to shine with illumination of the true light: Grant us, we ask, that as we have known the mystery of that light upon earth, so may we also perfectly enjoy him in heaven; where with You, Father, and the Holy Spirit, he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

St. Leo said this in 440 "Think of the Lord's birth, wherein the Word became Flesh, not as a past event which we recall, but as a present reality upon which we gaze."

At the heart of the Christmas story we encounter Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. In His conception and birth he becomes, in essence, the physical location of God's promises and His very essence. This is spectacular. But those who are the first to gather around to acknowledge and receive him should profoundly influence our understanding of Jesus. Mary and Joseph are hardly powerful or of high status in their society. Shepherds, little more than peasantry themselves, are the ones who see and hear heaven's armies make their powerful announcement... and then they find Jesus in a lowly estate indeed, resting in a feeding trough for livestock. From his very first breath, Jesus comes not simply as God's gift to the least, the lost and the left behind... he comes to the rest of the whole world from among them. Praise be to God. 

Sing: Joy Joy Joy

You've made a home

Of a bag of bones

That we might touch and hold

And see and know

Your frail frame contains

All heaven's dreams

And here lies God's campaign

To heal the world

Joy Joy Joy

Joy Joy Joy

Joy Joy Joy to the world

the Lord has come to us

the Lord has come to us

the Lord has come to us

like this, like this

Not by might or glamour

Or clothed in Caesar's armor

But with all heaven's desire

In your soul

You came so humbly

Revealed through peasantry

Who proclaim faithfully

Their King has come

Joy Joy Joy

Joy Joy Joy

Joy Joy Joy to the world

the Lord has come to us

the Lord has come to us

the Lord has come to us

like this, like this

Almighty and everliving God

We thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food

Of the most precious Body and Blood 

Of you Son our Saviour Jesus Christ;

And for assuring us in the holy mysteries

That we are living member of the Body of You Son,

And heirs of your eternal kingdom.

And now, Father, send us out

To do the work you have given us to do,

To love and serve you

As faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.

To Him, To You, and To The Holy Spirit,

Be honour and glory, now and forever. Amen."