Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Baruch 4:36--5:9
v. 6 For they went out from out on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne.

[Note: If your Bible does not have an Apocrypha (usually printed btween the Old & New Testaments), you won't be able to find Baruch. You can find the text on-line at http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/index.shtml#baruch].

Baruch is writing to those left behind in Jerusalem during the exile to Babylon. Not everyone had been taken. A small number of mostly poor farmers had been left to scratch out a living in the decimated city and countryside. Baruch is encouraging them that their countrymen and women are returning. "Look east," he keeps saying.

I love the image in the verse above, "carried in glory." I think of the story we will hear tonight. All the characters are "carried in glory," and in circumstances where glory is not a word that would normally be used: a stable, a sheep pasture.

But the message of Christmas is that glory has been born among us, and we are this glory's adopted brothers and sisters. Christms morning John will tell us in his Gospel: "to all who believed in his name he gave power to become children of God."

To be carried in glory means, I think, to be fully alive in our own dignity. May that be your greatest Christmas gift this year.

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