Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Meditation

Thankfully, there are those in the world who can say things much better than we might be able to say ourselves. It's as if they reach into the deeper parts of who we are and gradually draw into the open ideas and connections that shine and shout in the light of day. And reading their words is an experience akin to stepping outside of a small tent in the middle of night on a vast open plain and beholding the stars right there above you.... immediately accessible, mystifyingly silent, and all too real.

I think that this is why Christmas is so evocative for all of us. The small is really large, the humble is really great, and the child is really God.

Anthony Bloom is someone whose words often have this effect on me. While deceased, his sermons and talks continue to be available online. I really like what he has to say about Christmas and would like to share some of that with you today.

On the day when we remember the Nativity of Christ, the Incarnation of the Son of God, we can see that the beginning of a new time has come, that this world that had gone old because God was, as it were, far away from it - great, awe-inspiring but distant, had come to an end. GOD IS IN OUR MIDST: this is the meaning of the word ‘Emmanuel’; God with us - and the world is no longer the same. We live in a world into which God has come, in which He is the living power, the inspiration, Life itself, Eternity itself …

Yes, we are waiting for the day when God will come in glory, when all history will be up, when all things will be summed up, when God shall be all in all; but already now God is in our midst; already now we have a vision of what each of us is by vocation and can be by participation. But this is an offer; God gives His love, God gives Himself - not only in the Holy Gifts of Communion, but in all possible ways He is ready to enter into our lives, to fill our hearts, to be enthroned in our minds, to be the will of our will, but to do that, to allow Him to do that we must give ourselves to Him, we must respond to love by love, to faith - the faith which God has in us - by faith that is trust and faithfulness to Him. And then - then, we, each of us singly and all of us in our togetherness, will become God's Kingdom come with power, the beginning of the fullness of time, the beginning of the glorious victory!

Isn't that something which is worth struggling for? Isn't it worth turning away from everything that separates us from our own integrity, from one another, from God, and allow ourselves to become new creatures?

Let us now, now that the beginning has come, and in a way the end is already in our midst, let us do it: overcome all that is unworthy of ourselves and allow God victoriously to transfigure our lives!

Glory be to God for His love! Glory be to God for the faith He has in us, and for the hope He has put into us! Amen!

Words worth pondering.

On a more prosaic note, for those who would like to see my Christmas newsletter (text and pictures), I've uploaded it here.

May you have a wonderful holiday!