Peace: There are some traditions that keep a prayerful “watch” on Christmas Eve. It is a devotional time to pray and meditate on the longing of God’s people and all creation for the coming of salvation. Before midnight, in these traditions, a prayer is said which ends with, “this night is the long night.”
Even though early in the same prayer we are reassured that “salvation is near,” the tragic realities of this world seem to make the night grow longer. All of creation seems anxious for the morning, anxious for the Nativity of the Christ Child. What a relief that Jesus was born to free us from the darkness of oppression! What a joy that, following repentance, I can walk in the freedom of his kingdom breaking into this world; this in-breaking which advent represents.
“How lowly, how gracious / His coming to earth! His love my love kindles.”
God bankrupted heaven to put anxiety at ease. The birth of Christ is an amazing initiation of peace. Just as a heavenly light shone upon the Christ child, our hearts bear a light, his light, guiding the world to peace, just as the Magi were guided. Just as peace was brought through a birth, peace may be born(e) in us to all creation.
Stefan Seeling, Student Ministries Director