It is Christmas Eve! I'm currently hanging out at my aunt and uncles. I had to run out to the farm to print my sermon for Christmas morning. The gravel roads to the farm where crummy. My car got caught up a little on a snowdrift. Yet none of this seems to matter to me today. What matters is this infant Emmanuel "God with us" who in the words of Eugene Peterson, "puts on flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood."
I don't know about you but I love that image. Jesus being my next door neighbor. But also Jesus being the one who is finding bodily nourishment at the church in my neighborhood at a soup kitchen
Jesus is born to the unlikeliest people in the unlikeliest of places; in a stinky smell stable surrounded by all sorts of animals. (I smile as I type this looking out the big picture window which overlooks a cattle stall.) Jesus indeed comes on this holy night to remind us of Gods immeasurable love for all people.
I know that this holiday brings about emotions of all kinds including sadness. But, my friends, even in your sadness, no especially in your sadness, Jesus comes as Emmanuel "God with us." Jesus indeed is the greatest gift; a gift that isn't returnable by us but rather is a gift that is continually offered and given to us.
This holy story reminds us that we shouldn't be afraid; "Do not be afraid."Rather we need to cling to the promise of this one who comes to bring us hope, peace, joy and so much more.
I'm reminded of these words from the Grinch, "It isn't about boxes, presents and bows. Perhaps Christmas is a little bit more." Yes my friends Christmas indeed is much more than we could ever imagine!!
And as these words ring in my ears, I hear Linus proudly reciting the words to Luke 2 which we all will hear soon. This version of the holy story is one of my faves because through Linus, I remember and am reminded what this story is all about. It is through this silent holy night that Jesus was born, came in flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhood. And my friends this holy child isn't going to move out of our neighborhoods any time soon. This precious infant promises to never leave or forsake you. This infant will carry you through your sadness, your joy and all the seasons of your life.
Christmas blessings to you all my dear readers and friends! Merry Christmas to you and yours. May peace be yours on this holy night.