A comment regarding the lectionary: there are a variety of texts to choose from for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I have chosen to include both Isaiah passages to present a more realistic vision of Christmas, a vision that joins, as the hymn proclaims, “the hopes and fears of all the years.”
On Christmas Eve, the theme is revelation and incarnation, in terms of both presence and absence. December 24 is more than a chronological date. Christmas Eve is a frame of mind and movement of spirit that brings out joy, wonder, exaltation, and sometimes grief and despair.