The virtues of Advent that we are celebrating together through, hymns, history and song are not “givens” in the world. In fact, if you look throughout history there have been many civilizations and societies with quite different sets of virtues. The Roman legion sought honor, power and glory and the 3rd Reich of Germany certainly had no place for Kings in humble mangers. Other cultures see the highest virtue as a renunciation of the material world and value the extinguishing of the self into a mystical oneness of being. No, the gifts Jesus brought to the earth are universal and human - but they are distinctly of divine origin.
His coming into the manger was also a stamp of endorsement upon the value of this world and individual human lives. His gifts of hope, love, peace and joy through the gospel are indicative of divine grace operating in people and culture.
Let us never grow weary of the glory of God become flesh and God with us…Emmanuel. For in this person is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in a face (2 Cor 4:1-6). The face of a baby, a face grown into manhood, a face marred and beaten and unjustly executed like a common criminal. Yet that face and its glory shined ever more brightly when it triumphed over even the grave itself. This world, with all of our sin and all of the mess in which we still travel, is the place where God still meets us today.
The Word was made flesh and we beheld its glory; at Christmas and at the Cross. Today, as we read the story with our families, celebrate his goodness at Christmas and seek to be generous to others, let us never forget the grace we have been given in the gospel.
Light a candle in the darkness of winter my friends to loudly say that Jesus wins. Don’t forget this at Christmastime this year.
The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan