As you are reading this article, there is one Sunday before Christmas. Christians celebrate Christmas as the day Jesus Christ was born. Jesus is the example for Christians. He was born to very humble beginnings.
Jesus gave up living with God in heaven as a prince to experience life on earth so that each of us could experience Emmanuel. The word Emmanuel is a Hebrew word meaning "God with us." Emmanuel, God with us, is the gift we are given on Christmas and everyday by God.
Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, is the Christian celebrating the greatest gift one ever could want: having your creator desiring a relationship so much that your creator comes to you. Personally, I cannot image anything more valuable. This gift means that we never are really alone. God always is there with us, calling us into relationship.
This is in direct contradiction to the world in which we live. During the holiday season many of us will feel very alone. Feeling alone happens for many of us even though we will spend time with family and friends. This often is a result of the holidays not measuring up to some ideal that is portrayed in the commercials and movies that are so prevalent this time of year. The commercials show us people getting together having the perfect meal and giving the perfect presents. We all realize that this rarely happens in real life. Despite the fact that we know the holiday season most likely will disappoint us and leave us feeling sad and alone, we strive to make the miracle and magic occur, and when it does not happen, we feel sad and alone. The story does not end here.
I encourage you to allow the story to begin this Christmas with the hope and joy of Emmanuel, our God and creator coming to dwell with us as a tiny little baby in a manger.
Christmas and New Year are a time for new beginnings. If you are one of those people whose holiday season leaves you feeling sad or alone, please remember and celebrate the fact that your creator cared enough about you to come and become part of your world in order to have a relationship with you. Having a relationship with your creator means that you are part of the mystical body of Christ and never will be alone. You always will have the wonder and awe of the creche in your heart and mind as well as the knowledge of Emmanuel: God dwelling in you.
- Kerr is the pastor at All Saints' Episcopal Church, Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and Church of Our Savior Episcopal Church.