The Christmas mystery has two parts: the nativity and the epiphany. A deep instinct made the church separate these two feasts. In the first we commemorate God’s humble entrance into human life, the emergence and birth of the holy, and in the second its manifestation in the world, the revelation of the supernatural made in that life. And the two phases concern our inner lives very closely too. The first only happens in order that the second may happen, and the second cannot happen without the first…
The birth of Christ in our souls is for a purpose beyond ourselves: it is because his manifestation in the world must be through us. Every Christian is, as it were, part of the dust-laden air which shall radiate the glowing epiphany of God, catch and reflect his golden Light. Ye are the light of the world—but only because you are enkindled, made radiant by the one Light of the world. And being kindled, we have go to get on with it, be useful.
(English mystic, 1875-1941)