In December – which in our faith communities we call Advent – we prepare with joy (and sometimes with trepidation) to celebrate the Christ-Mass, the birth of Jesus. We prepare in many ways: some by heading to the stores to buy, buy and buy until exhausted; some by planning a trip home to family; some by bringing out the heirloom crèche and decorations; and some by quietly reflecting upon hopes for themselves, family, friends, and the world.
Amidst this preparation comes the Word of scripture that in a manner so common and yet so unique the Word of Hope, the Word of Joy, the Word of Family, the Word of Life has come and is even now in the world. Jesus, born of Mary, discloses to the world that the Word has flesh and blood and through flesh and blood the world will know the depth and breadth of love. The Word reveals to us and in us what we always have been and shows us how to live fully into our potential as children of God, born of God. God redeems what God takes on. Even more radical: what God takes on becomes part of God.
This Advent practice being a part of God: in your frantic shopping smile at your fellow bargain hunters and cashiers; buy an extra gift for Toys 4 Tots or the food pantry at Emmaus House; when traveling home give everyone you know a greeting and hug of great warmth – they are family; when setting up that crèche, whether heirloom or newly purchased, do so by bringing to mind what each piece represents; and when sitting quietly meditate upon how the Word brings life and meaning and joy and hope to your every moment.
We are children of God. God – truth, love, justice, mercy – comes alive through us! May our Advent journey bless us as we gather on Sundays at 11:00 AM or Thursdays at 7:00 PM for worshipping our Lord. Pausing in Advent to intentionally love God, we gain a deeper understanding of the majesty, mercy, and mystery of God.