O Come O Come Emmanuel

 Nothing is as simple and profound as a God that loves us unconditionally.   In the midst of the modern Christmas frenzy Advent is a perfect time to remind ourselves of that awesome wonder.

Tomorrow Advent begins. And once again we prepare for the coming of Christ. Today I unpacked the Advent wreath and Deb bought new candles. For the next four Sundays we will light our candles and carry on our tradition of “keeping Advent”. This is that special time of year when we reflect on Jesus’ coming in history and His coming in our lives today and also His final coming. 

For the next four Sundays our Gospel readings will contain the messages of Advent – take care; be aware; prepare. And while we’re busy about “getting ready” for Christmas – the shopping, the parties, the gift giving, we’re being reminded to S L O W  down. We’re being reminded to “get ready” for something much more important than the latest toy or electronic gadget; something much more important than our favorite family recipe; something much more important than our parties or holiday celebrations.  We are preparing ourselves to meet (once again) our Savior who is ALWAYS with us and who will NEVER forsake us.

This evening we went to our parish to view “Scenes of The Nativity” – parishioners put their personal creches on display for all to enjoy.  Some of the Nativity sets are old, some are handmade, some very elegant, some disarmingly simple. All represent the Holy Family at the time of Jesus’ birth.  At the end of the exhibit is an opportunity to create a living Nativity – with costumes and ourselves playing the parts of angels, shepherds, wise men and of course Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. 

This year my daughter was Mary; my son-in-law Joseph; and Noah was baby Jesus (he was a natural!).  Anna and her cousin Charlise were angels (adorable) and the rest of us were Wise Men – well Debbie was a Wise Woman I suppose. It was fun and the angels and baby Jesus were especially sweet – a nice family time.

Holy Family

Later while the girls were playing in the “Children’s Area” replete with Fisher-Price Nativity sets and arts-and-crafts tables I held Noah (Baby Jesus).  While holding in my arms he smiled at me and I couldn’t help but think about Jesus as a baby and how much Mary and Joseph must have loved him. 

At times it is amazing to me that God presented Himself to us an infant!  Not as a warrior or super hero or a King.  But an infant – helpless, completely dependent, and completely human.  And while I held Noah it all made perfect sense to me.  Someday when I’m much older and Noah is a grown man he will bring me comfort and help ease me into my final days.  The love that we share will transform us – as I grow old and weak; he will grow big and strong. Tonight I prayed that we will always be connected even as we inevitably change.  And if I’m truly blessed he will remember me fondly after I’m gone from this life and he will always know how much I loved him. 

Imagine then how much more God will love and care for each of us.  God who gave us His only Son that we might live.  God who changes us so that we might change the world. O come O come Emmanuel!

Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Matthew 24:37

Peace,

Denis

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