Christmas Eve A’22 {10:30pm}
24 December 2022
Luke 2.1-20
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
North Little Rock, Arkansas
The Rev. Carey Stone <+>

While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of its swift course, your almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down out of your royal throne, alleluia! – Antiphons for Christmas


On this cold winter’s night, you got out of a perfectly comfy and toasty warm bed or couch to be here? Why?

What is it about this messy story involving a field of shepherds, a sky full of angels, a stressed-out innkeeper, a stable full of mucky animals, an unwed mother, and a fiancé who was hanging by a thread, and holding to a far-fetched dream, what is it that keeps us coming back to it year after year? 

At the intersection of Brokenness and Perfection of Humanity and Divinity there is something more. Like the Irish rocker Bono so aptly put it, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” St. Augustine talked about the mystery of the incarnation and how it was a living reality, something that began at the first Christmas and has never stopped but that the realization could be allusive: “This birth is always happening. And yet, if it does not happen in me, what use is it?”[1]

So a proposal, what if the answer to our spiritual poverty, that nagging emptiness is pregnancy? OK, before all the women fall out, and all the men run out of the room, I should add the word ‘metaphorical’ – “metaphorical pregnancy.”

If the new life of Jesus leads us to God, then Mary leads us to New Life.

Wherever we are, whatever stage of life we are in, there must be something new on the horizon for us to continue to live. This new life comes about through a process – again in Mary we see the way.

First: there is a summons, a call of some kind that is calling us to show up to be present and engaged in our lives, in the lives of our families, in our work, or in our life’s journey. 

Second: there is conception by the Holy Spirit that comes through a word spoken to us by God and received by us. The Angle Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her not to be afraid that she will conceive and bare a son through the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary says “Let be to me according to your word.” And boom – Mary was pregnant and expecting.

Third: Pregnancy continues for a time while the new life grows

Fourth: Birthing, which every mother knows can be difficult, painful, and at times dangerous.

Fourth Finally the New Life arrives and is born and with comes transformation – our lives are never the same.

Some Questions to ponder:

If you could connect the dots and come up with a summons in your life what would it be at this point in your life? Where is the energy pointing us? Maybe its in a recurring dream, or a string of synchronicities that just could be merely a coincidence, Why does this Noun (person, place, or thing) keep showing up in the mail, on TV, in a song on the radio, from a friends advice? When we connect the dots we will then need to follow in Mary’s footsteps and say, OK, Lord, I hear you. At that point something will begin to grow, and in time you will experience this New Life.

Perhaps there is something of God in Christ that we still haven’t found or that we haven’t yet let find us.

“This birth is always happening. And yet, if it does not happen in me, what use is it?”[2]


[1] From Meister Eckhart, a modern translation, by Raymond Bernard Blakney {Harper & Row: New York}

[2] From Meister Eckhart, a modern translation, by Raymond Bernard Blakney {Harper & Row: New York}