“now the Word can say nothing”

In the beginning was the Word. But now the Word can say nothing; not a syllable of meaning. He who was with God before the beginning of the earth, whose speech made the light, is helpless and half-blind; blurred and bound and held in the warm dark. He made all things, and without him nothing could ever have been made; but now he can only grasp a finger and search for kindly human eyes, asking for protection in the big world. God is newborn, newly breathing, a baby; and in him the makings of the universe are only seeds and memories. God the Creator needs love. Breast milk, covering, a cradling arm.

What is his birthright? What will he inherit? The heavenly messenger Gabriel called him the Son of the Most High. He has no palace; not even a bed to call his own. He sleeps in a feeding trough, hastily lined with straw. His mother is poor, and people laugh about his father. He will bring his mother the sorrow of unspeakable loss when he is old enough. Through this child God blesses the weak, the helpless, the poor and the very young.

Through him the meek inherit the earth. Through him the light shines in dark places and is not overcome: — because the darker the night, the brighter shines this light, the Light of the world. The weak tonight become the sons and daughters of God. If today you are strong, then reserve your greatest tenderness and your greatest respect for the weakest among you. And if today you are weak, the light is already shining through you, shining now.

That light is the light of all humanity, which God this night made holy through his Son our Saviour named Jesus: poor woman’s son, and the child of the Most High. Thanks be to God.

Unapologetic: Advent calendar 24: midnight sermon by Jessica Martin