Still to this day the midnight Christmas Eve service holds a special magic for me. The service has a different feel to it than the earlier ones. Maybe it is because there are fewer people and there seems to be a silent hush over the church. Or that there it seems to be a cold chill in the air with perhaps a dusting of snow outside. Things seem to be clearer, shinier and more beautiful. This time of night seems to really embody that ancient antiphon, for while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven.
This is the night that the all powerful word leapt from heaven and came to live among us. Tonight is the night that Mary held that shiny and beautiful baby that came to turn the world upside down, to bring fourth a new way of being, a way of shinier, clearer and beautiful living.
To night is the night that reminds us of our common vocation, our vocation given to us by the birth of this child. To live each day with the awe and wonder that Mary must have felt when she held Jesus in her arms. To bring forth the love, warmth and joy that Joseph must have felt standing beside the Manger. To be willing to share, make room and welcome the stranger as the animals did in the stable. To be willing to follow our own stars and be able to see and hear with fresh eyes and hearts like the shepherds who followed the star and saw the greatest gift of all.
Sr. Amy, SSJD