The virgin birth has never been a major stumbling block in my struggle with Christianity; it’s far less mind-boggling than the Power of all Creation stooping so low as to become one of us.
After weeks of oddly solemn Advent and few Christmas decorations (even the town’s decorations were lackluster—no St Andrew’s Fair to usher in Advent? No lights on Market Street?), it has finally felt like Christmas. Going to my brother’s house today where I danced with my (eldest) niece and (second-eldest) nephew to “Carolina Christmas” and “Hot Christmas” on repeat until the three of us collapsed to the floor gasping, watching White Christmas with the adults and with whatever kid wandered in to sit with us, finally opening presents with many play breaks in-between, tracking Santa’s progress, and then dragging my parents to Christmas Eve Mass at the local episcopal church. Maybe it is the medievalist in me, but I love the idea of holding vigil. There we were in a centuries’-old chapel (yes, you can find those in the States) lit by candlelight, saying the Creed together and singing “Silent Night” as it became Christmas Day. What promise Communion holds on Christmas! The power and mystery of the Incarnation. Finally I got to sing carols, and ones I knew the both the words and the tunes (and even the harmonies) to also.
It has been a very good Christmas Eve indeed. Skyping with dear friends in the morning, walking along the beach with my parents before lunch, then spending the rest of the day with family with festivities and fun, ending, as it should, with the quiet joyfulness of remembering that on this day our God became human.