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Thursday, December 24By Scott Bader-Saye
Thursday, December 24
Psalm 89:1-29; Isaiah 59:15b-21; Matthew 1:18-25
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
If I’m being perfectly honest, as a child I found Christmas Eve more exciting than Christmas Day. Grandparents would arrive with a car full of presents, wrapped, hidden, bearing promise more than anything else. Later that afternoon, we would feast on Christmas dinner, then off to church at 11 PM, watching the clock tick down to midnight. Christmas Eve was pure potential and hope, nothing could go wrong because nothing had yet arrived. Anything was possible.
My grandfather unfailingly heard the reindeer tapping on the rooftop, and so it was that myth and reality merged in my young mind—Jesus and Santa, gifts and Gift, all shrouded in the warm blanket of expectation. By Christmas morning, there was no place to go but down. The gifts would be opened, conversation had, games played, perhaps a nap taken by the fire. Then December 26th would inevitably arrive with the harsh news that Christmas was 364 days away.
Some would say that in this time between the times we live in a prolonged Holy Saturday waiting for resurrection. But I’m inclined to say we live in a prolonged Christmas Eve, waiting for God’s birth. The posture of the faithful is a willingness to perch ourselves on the precipice of the unimaginable and to hope, to wait, knowing anything is possible.
We thank you, God, that you came to be with us, impossibly, as us. Raise us, we pray, to be with you as you. Amen.
Scott Bader-Saye (@ScottBaderSaye) serves as academic dean and holds the Helen and Everett H. Jones Chair in Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at Seminary of the Southwest. He joined the faculty in 2009 after teaching for twelve years at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Scranton, PA. His academic interests include political theology, sexual ethics, ecology/economy, and Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogue.
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