The day is finally here! Tomorrow, weather willing, we will gather at our beloved Highlands church for services to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Plans, practices, preparations, all have taken place. Star has shifted overhead. Angels, shepherds, Magi, all know their lines (I think). Greeters are ready, even eager, to welcome anyone seeking a warm and joyful place to worship. I think we are ready.
And in all this readiness, God must smile, not just because of the weather but because all the preparing in the world does not make the birth happen. Preparing is good. Like preparing soil for planting, preparing lesson plans for learning, preparing dinners for sharing, all the ways we work to set the stage for the things we love to happen, they happen, and the magic, the beauty, the wonder that we long for is that illusive other ingredient that no preparation can manufacture. The mystery of love is partly found in the preparation, but is also something that is given, noticed, and celebrated when it happens.
So in all that you do this Christmas: in all the gatherings, celebrations, calls to far away loved ones, giving and receiving, may you make room for the unexpected, the spontaneous, the mysterious. May God come to you not because you are ready but because that is what God does. And may you be open, aware, receptive. May love be born again, and may you know it.