Love came down at Christmas

Last night at the Christmas Eve service, Fr. Matt gave his usual children’s sermon about the young boy, Emmanuel, who wanted to know what language God spoke. The answer, of course, is that God’s language is love. The “grown-up sermon” changes each year, but we’ve heard Emmanuel’s story before and I’m always glad to hear it again as the message remains fresh.

Some years Christmas is hard. For some people, it’s always hard. It’s a time marked by memories and traditions, and traditions change out of necessity as life changes us and our circumstances. The season smacks us in the face with happy-ending-miracles on the Hallmark channel, and we are drenched with messages of the perfect family and the happily-ever-after. Real life is so much more messy, as families deal with dysfunction, illness, division, poverty, and those loved ones who are no longer there. (Then, there are those who have no family.)

Christmas whispers in God’s language to our weary souls, and it can be hard to hear those whispers over the din of the season. Christmas whispers of hope in a broken world. Christmas reminds us that in the face of all of the messy-ness, the smallest, most seemingly inconsequential event brings love and light. I think that God often hides miracles in plain sight. Maybe Christmas will bring healing to the sick, dignity and sustenance to the impoverished, and reconciliation to the divided. Or, maybe not just yet.

If we listen, though, Christmas brings hope, light and love. We are broken, and remain in this human condition. The media’s message of Christmas is perfection in an imperfect world; the real message of Christmas is love and redemption in spite of our imperfection.

Love came down

What a relief. I invite you to let go of the “if onlys” and the “what ifs” this season. Think about God’s gift of love to the world, even if it doesn’t seem very evident to you

Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine; Love was born at Christmas, star and angels gave the sign. – Christina Rossetti, from “Love came down at Christmas”

May you have a blessed Christmas, filled with love.

image from the Graphics Fairy blog


One thought on “Love came down at Christmas

  1. Bren,Nice!

    “Get Stoned for Christmas!” It may just be time to “Get Stoned” for Christmas! No, I’m not advocating making cannabis legal in Louisiana!  As Christmas gatherings are in full swing these days with “Ugly Sweater” contests and “Dirty Santa” gift-giving galore, I’m also reminded of a fun Christmas late 90’s memory from when I once treated my fellow Social Workers and Nurses in the Case Management Department at the Baton Rouge General to “Stone Soup,” from the classic book about sharing that ties in so well with the Real Reason For The Season, Jesus; this may well be what we and our politicians need in “finding room for Him in our inns” … by building walls of unity and not of division.  As noted in Wikipedia, Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing.  So back to the Stone Soup gathering … unfortunately, Gino Bertucci, LCSW, my fellow Social Worker and best friend, bit too quickly into his soup and got a big chomp onto one of those stones … fortunately for him (and me!), no choppers were damaged on Gino, so the tooth fairy didn’t have to be a Santa helper!  … and in this Emmanuel (“God is with us”) moment, may was ponder deeply what Jesus had also noted about stones: “… He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone … (John 8:7).”  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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