Do you see what I see?
Christmas has passed and life is back to normal, right?
There is the story of a little boy who had watched with great interest how the creche/nativity scene was set up outside his church. A few days after Christmas the scene had been dismantled and all that remained was the outline of the scene on the ground covered with snow.
He asked his mother what had happened, why the scene and baby Jesus had disappeared. The little boy’s mother tried her best to give an explanation—that Christmas was over and the heavy snow of January would envelope the scene.
The little boy, as most little children, knew that it was not such a good explanation. But then his mother added, the love and joy of Jesus was not just in the nativity scene but should be lived out in his life and the lives of others who believed that Jesus came to show us God’s love and how to live in the Way.
The little boy liked that answer and now had something that he could remember every day of the year, not just on Christmas.
The outline of God’s love is with us all the time. God is as close to us as the breath that we breath. Regardless of where we find ourselves on life’s journey, God is always near.
For those characters in Luke’s gospel story of Jesus’ birth, God was near. For the wise ones in Matthew’s story, God was near.
The outline of God-with-us, Emmanuel, is a great comfort to us when we are in the midst of burdens which seem to have no resolution. God-with-us, Emmanuel, is a source of energy and new life when we forgive as we have been forgiven by God for those many times when we forget that God is the voice we should listen to.
God-with-us, Emmanuel, Jesus, reminds us daily that we are to be the hands and feet of Christ in a world that yearns for hope, healing, justice.
God-with-us reminds us that our faith is lived out in the world around us, not just inside us or within a particular denomination or faith community.
God-with-us, Emmanuel, reminds us that even after long hard work for the kingdom of God, we are not discouraged but encouraged.
Do you see what I see? I see the Christ-light shining brightly in our world. This light shines even in the darkest of corners. And I see many people who live that light in our communities. Let your light shine, and share it liberally!
Blessings and Peace for 2012 and the season of Epiphany.
Rev. Arlyce Schiebout