It's a long way from Christmas. The calendar says October, and the newspaper delivers a world that is more curse than blessing — a legal fight over a dying woman in Florida; rocket attacks and suicide bombings in Baghdad. Darkness descends; death wins another round.
Outside my office door, colleagues gather as they begin their workday. Muffled laughter filters through the door as I pray an old Bible story. It's not a Christmas story, or is it?
A leper comes and says to Jesus, "If you choose, you can make me clean."
"If I choose?" Jesus answers incredulously, as I watch the story. "I do choose." He reaches to touch the leper, and time stops. The scene freezes into an icon, aglow with the meaning of all time and eternity. The world's ancient longing and God's eternal desire meet.
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