It all started with the idea,
The idea in God’s mind,
The idea which is God.
It started with God.
Everything exists because of it,
Nothing exists without it.
Life is possible because of it.
And in it lies enlightenment.
Such light pierces through the dark,
And darkness cannot put it out.
If the community of the 4th gospel knows anything about shepherds and angels and mangers wise men from the east, there’s no indication of it in anything they left behind.
Instead, for this early tradition the arrival of Jesus signals nothing less than the re-creation of the world. In their experience of Jesus, they had found enlightenment. (Remember, the Judaism out of which Christianity arose was an eastern religion. The Romans considered the Jewish god one of the oriental deities.)
And with enlightenment they saw the dawning of opportunity, a new way, to stand against the darkness of their time.
This Christmas Eve, whatever form your celebration takes, and from whatever tradition, and in whichever community, may you celebrate the dawning of opportunity to stand against the darkness of our time. And may enlightenment bring you renewed life, much joy, and (if we dare) the chance to participate in the remaking of the world.