December 13, 2015


Christmas brings many joys, remembrances and a feeling of happiness to most of us. It is great fun and excitement for children. It is a holiday time of parties, good food and family get togethers, presents to give and receive. We should be particular sensitive to those who may be alone or have lost someone dear or are going through personal turmoil of some kind despite the gaiety of the season. 

At the heart of Christmas is the pronouncement, the claim that: "God is with us"; Immanuel. That of all the things in the world that Jesus and Jesus' birth means, the central one we are not suppose to forget is that "God is with us". God is not "out there" or "up there" , as much as, God is "right here". where you are. 

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. When the world seems so violent and troubled. When I know that there will be some aspects of this Christmas that will not be as joyous as past ones. When I become anxious or uncertain about the future. When I wish more things in my life would go right, or at least better; or feel that I have made a mess of some parts; or others do better at life than I do.  I have been thinking about what it means that God has chosen to be close, to be present. To be with me. To be in and so much a part of the world. The good and the bad. 

We celebrate more than a one time event at Christmas. We celebrate the fact that ultimate love and grace - God, is in and all around us. At times hard to feel and see, but here nonetheless. Jesus gives this ultimate love and grace a human face and bids us to taste the joy of Christmas via our proximity to others. Whether they are by our side or not, through our acceptance, sensitivity, kindness, and charity - the most good and human side of ourselves that we can muster.

Love, Peace, and Merry Christmas,

Bob Bell


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