What a blessed privilege it will be to celebrate our Savior’s Birthday this coming Friday! Because in Jesus, God has chosen to place Himself in our shoes, we can go forward with the assurance that we are never alone. Loneliness can drain us. Apart from an awareness of our Lord’s Presence, we can become overwhelmed by all that we feel we have to do. We can live with the ugly illusion that the burdens of the world are upon our shoulders.
In and with the Birth of Jesus, God has wedded Himself to our human race. As we continue to welcome Him by weekly worship and by daily prayer, the Lord helps us to see the tasks that fall to us in a healthy perspective. A facet of this perspective is that it is with and for one another that we are meant to do what we do. We are set free to relate to all that we do as an expression of our love for the Lord.
As a result of our Lord’s coming to dwell with us, we are set free to relate to death in a proactive manner. By His willingness to suffer and die as He did, our Lord takes away the sting that the prospect of dying would otherwise have upon us. Because God was fully present for us in Jesus, the Lord makes it safe for us to let go of life, both that of our loved ones as well as that of our own. Even though our Lord passed through the valley of death, He was not abandoned there.
He arose from the dead. As a result of this, we are offered the forgiveness of all of our sins and the pledge of everlasting life with Him and with all who have loved Him when we leave this world.
Only as we are prepared to die can we be free to embrace life as it comes to us. A roller coaster illustrates how we experience life. We are part of an ever-changing world. Whether we want them to happen or not, changes will come our way even as they did for our Lord when He lived as one of us.
In an ever-changing world, nothing could destroy the bond of love that our Lord experienced with His heavenly Father. Jesus nurtured this relationship through regular worship and through daily prayer. His Life was an expression of prayer. As a result, He could take all that came to Him in stride. He never allowed good times to go to His head. He also had the strength to relate to all that was ugly and painful in a manner that was redemptive for us.
At our Baptism, we received the gift of the bond of love that Jesus had with the Father in the Holy Spirit. As we continue to abide in Him, we will not be overwhelmed by the changes that come our way. We will be able to relate to both that which is pleasant and to that which is painful in a manner that is redeeming both for ourselves and for many others.
I pray that each day, we will want to take to heart the Gift of Jesus Whose Birth we celebrate. In this way, we will grow in the ability to live with confidence and trust. Our very lives will invite others to join us on our common pilgrimage in this life to that fullness of life for which our Lord has come to redeem us. Have a Blessed Christmas!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor