December 24, 2023: Almost Time

Fourth Sunday of Advent | Christmas Eve

Almost Time

Christmas is close—as close as diapers stacked neatly on a changing table . . . as close as a new laundry basket filled with freshly washed Onesies ready to be folded for the first time . . . as close as a packed labor go-bag strategically placed in the vicinity of the car keys . . . as close as the infant somersaulting and trampolining off womb walls . . . as close as heartbeat and birth and breath.

Christmas is close—brought to term by the young woman, Mary . . . brought to term by her willingness to ponder the perplexity yet embrace the possibility . . . brought to term through her agreeableness to partner with God in something unique . . . brought to term in spite of the strangeness of the circumstances

. . . brought to term by her receptiveness to bearing the hope of the world to a world in need of hope.

Christmas is close—Advent’s pregnancy on the cusp of delivery . . . Advent’s potential on the precipice of reality . . . Advent’s curiosity on the brink of revelation.

Christmas is close—God coming into the world in the intimate, messy way life always arrives, with splash and contraction, pain and push, ordinary and miraculous.

An entrance.

A tangible presence.

An incarnation.

Christ is close.

Christine Sobania Johnson, pastor
College Hill Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania