When the angel Gabriel appears to Mary in Luke 1 to announce that God will come in the flesh and dwell among us, Gabriel declares: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” It’s striking that this beautiful, much quoted declaration, is in the future tense. That’s always been an important detail, but this year more than most.
2020 is the year of the COVID vaccine. Even the staunchest Scrooge was moved to joy at seeing our frontline workers receive their first dose. God has made the impossible possible through brilliant scientific minds and the thousands who have worked tirelessly in production. And yet, for the vast majority of us, the vaccine is in our future. We are patiently waiting for our number to be called, and it will certainly be many months before we’ve all had our second dose. We are beyond ready to embrace our loved ones, get back to work, and belt out God’s praises together, sans masks. In this way, Christmas meets us right where we are.
God made flesh comes in the manger this Christmas, hallelujah! We rejoice at God’s gift of unconditional love in the miracle of Christ Jesus who lives among us. And, it will be some time before Mary will see Jesus perform a miracle; some time before he tells his followers about the kingdom of God; and some time before his resurrection reveals his saving purpose to the world. On Christmas, God made the impossible a reality. God lived among us. And, thanks be to God, there was much more to come.
May God be with us this Christmas as we rejoice together at all that God has done AND as we anticipate all God will yet do. For nothing will be impossible with God! Amen?!