Those of us who will celebrate the birth of Christ this weekend will also very like have a Christmas tree nestling presents underneath it like a mother swan sheltering her cygnets under her wings.
Will we take time, before presents are opened, to consider why we celebrate? Will we, as each gift is unwrapped, consider the true meaning behind the tree and gifts and meal and family gathering? Will we acknowledge the incomprehensible Gift we have been given?
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiahs 29:13)
As we spend time with God, acknowledging His Presence, we begin to understand just how powerful He is in our lives. He has been there all along awaiting our acceptance of this Gift. He is not a God who commands our attention like a playground bully. He waits patiently until we are ready to accept and fully embrace His invitation.
He knows sometimes we are doubtful or afraid of change. But the change He creates is not simply behavior modification or a change of clothing. It is a transformation of mind and heart; He awakens in us a metamorphosis, a renewal, a new birth.
He came to save us. It’s not that we earned it by doing good works or righteous deeds; He came because He is merciful. He brought us out of our old ways of living to a new birth and renewal. He washed us clean through the Holy Spirit, who was poured out in abundance through Jesus Christ, our Savior. (Titus 3:5-6)
Now we celebrate the birth of this child; this Lamb of God. This child who will grow into a fully human/fully God adult male. Our Father was previously invisible but has now become visible. God’s truth, grace, mercy and love have now become evident to all who choose to see. Jesus embodies not only the birth of Life, but of Light, of Hope and Healing.
The apostle John called Jesus the Logos. In Greek, it means so much more than just The Word. It is motive, intent, reason, the Divine Expression.
Jesus came to do the Father’s will. He came, not to condemn the world, but to save the world (John 3:17). And His Presence, whether or not we choose to accept it, is inside each one of us. This Presence – the Holy Spirit – never leaves us, prays for us, teaches all we know and reminds us of everything Jesus told us (John 14:26).
It is inherent in all of us, yet it must be awakened and chosen. The Holy Spirit is totally given—and given equally—to all; but it must be received, too. One who totally receives this Presence and draws life from it is what we mean by a saint…From this more spacious and grounded place, one naturally connects, empathizes, forgives, and loves everything. We were made in love, for love, and unto love. Fr. Richard Rohr
So open your presents; be thankful for them. Yet also open your heart and mind to the Presence of our Most Precious God. Be joyful and thankful for His invitation, and accept it humbly and gladly.