Love Came Down at Christmas
Looking back over Advent, I count over 50 different St. Paul’s gathering events where we’ve participated in prayer, reflection, socializing, and giving. In addition, many of you have continued to check in on one another weekly and sometimes daily. In this way we have been able to reach out, connect, and care for one another in this time of extreme physical, emotional, and spiritual challenge.
One of the loveliest carols of the season is Love Came Down at Christmas, and there is certainly a lot of heavenly love raining down, but it also seems to me that this is a bit of a misnomer. If anything, Love comes UP at Christmas — bubbles up through the fabric of life and fills all the cracks. The message of the season is that heaven and earth are joined forever; there is no separation, nor has there ever been, except in our awareness. Jesus comes to show us how to live that relentless love fully and to the end. God dwells in the details of our lives, exactly as they unfold, and God dwells in every relationship, and every gesture of goodness, no matter how small.
As we contemplate how Christ is born anew to us in this season, it seems to me that this is one of the primary ways — through one another. With our continued distance it can seem tough to hold and deepen our relationships, but it has also made those simple touches and reach-outs and gestures all the more precious. Thank you for all the ways in which you have been the hand and voice and touch of the holy to one another in this season.
Tomorrow and Friday we’ll gather safely online for a Christmas celebration different from ever before, and hopefully ever again. However you plan to celebrate the day, I urge you to make your participation as intentionally cozy and connected as you can: come by the church on Christmas Eve to pick up your Christmas Communion, light candles, turn up the heat, screen-share the online liturgy to your big screen, and take some time to imagine all the faces in the congregation who you know and love. Send them blessing prayers from the heart, and receive all the prayers that are coming to you from others. Pray especially for those who are most in need this season.
In this way, Love will continue to come down, bubble up, and flow freely among us this Christmas. God is with us, and we are with one another. Blessed Christmas to us all!