The Night before Christmas

In the night our consciousness is usually extinguished.  In deep sleep, something takes place in us we are usually not aware of.  Only when we wake up do we notice retrospectively that something did happen to us.  That is the wonder of regeneration.  Literally the word means: re-creation, rebirth.  In our absence, healing forces have restored us.  We are—more or less—rested.  Be this as it may, we are usually in better shape than at the beginning of the night.

In the night before Christmas, every year anew, the healing force of the Savior is active—of Him who does not only regenerate each human being, but even regenerates the whole world.  Even if a person knows nothing of Christmas, even if a person does not want to know about Christmas, in the night before Christmas Christ’s healing light of grace shines on every human being.  But so that at least some individuals do not sleep through this greatest gift that is bestowed on our world, for this reason in the night before Christmas the holy act is performed, which is otherwise always performed in broad daylight.

And though afterwards we sleep for the rest of the night just like the rest of mankind, we take our prayer of the Consecration of the Human Being with us into the night, so that it reaches its destination.  That is the meaning of the midnight service in the night before Christmas: to watch and pray with Him who bears and orders the life of the world.  And every vigilant prayer gives Him strength to bear and to order, even in the chaos of our restless world.


Bastiaan Baan, December 25, 2023

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