The Bethlehem explosion.

The inn was full. When Joseph knocked,
his wife was already in labour; there was no room
even for compassion. Until the barn was offered.
That was the precipitating factor. A child was born,
and the pattern changed forever, the cosmos
shaken with that silent explosion. -Madeleine L’Engle

It is happening now. It is happening in a stable in Bethlehem.

Over the stable, a star is twinkling. Inside the stable, the newborn child is wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.

This is a meeting of heaven and earth. For the child in the manger is also a spark from the great beacon behind those weak lanterns in the sky.

This is the wonder. It is a wonder every time a new child comes into the world. This is how it is when the world is created anew under heaven.

A woman is breathing hard and weeping. Not out of sadness. Mary is weeping quietly, deeply, happily. But the child’s cries drown her out. The Christ Child is born. He has been born in a stable in Bethlehem. He has come to our poor world. -Jostein Gaarder, The Christmas Mystery

Here we are, on Christmas Eve, with Mary and Joseph as they search for a quiet corner to have their child, the one who was promised. As Mike and I usually do during Advent, we have read The Christmas Mystery and traveled back in time to Bethlehem, back to when the Christ Child was born. It is one of my favorite ways to prepare my heart, that journey.

Thank you for traveling with me on this more public journey as well. And now it is Christmas Eve, and we find that so many things have finally come together to bring about what we have been waiting for. We see the end of all that we have been talking about: angels, pregnancy, courage, taxes, stables, stars, shepherds, wise men. Everything converges in Bethlehem tonight as a child is born. May your celebration of this wondrous event bring you great joy.

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