Two thousand years ago God spoke through a manger, and we still experience the mystery! The Christmas story is filled with it. Mystery is not in what we see and do not understand. Mystery is in what we know deeply and cannot see.
I recall a crisp, silent night during Christmastide when my children were teenagers, and we cross-country skied in the moonlight. The sky switched on its tiny lights above us, and the moonglow lit the way. Spruce limbs drooped with icy fingers and cast crooked shadows all around us. The swoosh-swoosh of our skis startled the silence. A stream trickled beneath the ice, heeding the call of the sea. The soil hid beneath the snow, and seeds slept deep below, trusting the green of spring. Leafless aspen gazed at us from the other side of the pond, singing softly with the spruce in antiphonal chorus "Il Est Ne'": "He is born, the holy Child." We stopped, glancing back at the twin scars trailing behind us marking clearly where we'd been. But where we would go lay open before us, unmarred. We grew quiet, sensing anew that the stillness of the universe is a dance of barefoot grace with the Creator, a silence alive with cosmic joy and mystery.
Emmanuel! God is with us!
-- Marilyn Brown Oden in Manger and Mystery: An Advent Adventure (Nashville, Tenn.: Upper Room Books, 1999)