God's presence

One of the big things Christmas is all about is captured beautifully in John's Gospel:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God made his dwelling among us, tabernacled with us, moved into the neighborhood. What a momentous occasion!

But there's more to the story, more that John reveals in his Apocalypse:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.

God's presence, his coming as a child, is a decisive move in an epic struggle. No, that's not quite right, it is the decisive move in God's sure struggle against evil, ordained from the foundation of the world, predetermined for our good.

When we celebrate the presence of God, whether it's on Christmas or any moment of our lives and years, we proclaim his now-but-not-yet kingdom, a kingdom established through this child. Maranatha!

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