Becoming Mystery

The way that God comes into our being is not something for which we can plan or project. Think about it–what if rather than always falling on December 25th, Christmas Day came on different days each year and we weren’t told until after the day that it had happened? How would you prepare for it then? Because, really, that’s the way the first Christmas happened. What if, in the midst of your preparing and your becoming, the time was once again fulfilled, whether or not you were ready? The way that God comes is a mystery, a time fulfilled rather than a time scheduled.

And this day before the eve of Christ’s coming finds us on a threshold between darkness and light, between human and divine, between reality and mystery. As we approach Bethlehem, tired from our journey, there are great hoards around us preparing to be counted. It is dusty and crowded and unwelcoming and we are tired of fighting the journey. But there, there in the north, are the quiet stirrings of a door that is beginning to open, a door through which heaven will pour and through which our humanity will somehow mysteriously taste and experience the Divine. How is this happening? “Because,” as St. John Chrysostom said, “God is now on earth, and [humanity] in heaven; on every side all things commingle. [God] has come on earth, while being fully in heaven; and while complete in heaven, he is without diminution on earth…Though being the unchanging Word, he became flesh that he might dwell amongst us.” [i]

The time is approaching when it will be fulfilled. And the only way for us to enter it is to become mystery and count ourselves among those who reside on that threshold between our lives as they are and the mystery that God holds for us.

Go humbly, humble are the skies,
And low and large and fierce the Star;
So very near the Manger lies
That we may travel far.
(G.K. Chesterton)

So go forth and become mystery!

Grace and Peace,

[i] St. John Chrysostom, from “The Mystery”, in Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Plough Publishing)

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