Reflection by Sheila Burton, a parishioner.
I love Christmas. Love love love it. As a kid, I loved it for all the regular reasons. Santa Claus, decorations, Christmas cookies, and of course presents. Now, as an adult, I still love all those things, but my focus is different.
It is the first week of Advent, a time to begin to ponder what is to come: the Incarnation.
I may be thinking a little contrary to teaching here, but for me, Christmas, the Incarnation, has been the holiday that has truly wowed me and brought me to my knees. I know Easter is suppose to be the holiday to do that, but for me, when I contemplate the Incarnation, it makes me want to cry. God loved us so much. He knew we didn’t get it. He knew we didn’t understand the immensity of His love, or the fact that He was really with us. He wanted us to know, to understand. He wanted us to know that His love was bigger than everything. But how could He get us to understand??
Imagine if you will the thought processes of God. First, generation after generation of his beloved children cluelessly misunderstanding who He is and how much He loves them, getting it all wrong as they strive for power and trample on each other, not understanding that God is in their midst. Imagine His anguish, sadness and frustration as He tries to figure out a way to make human-kind understand this, to understand Him and what His love and presence mean for the world.
Imagine a love so great that He who is strong is willing to become weak. Imagine a love so huge that He who is all powerful is willing to be the servant of all. Our God is so compassionate that He is willing to be born in a barn to a couple of teenagers, just so we will understand that the world is not as it seems, that God is truly present, with us and loves us more than we can possibly imagine. Just who is this God of ours? It is hard to comprehend love of such depth, let alone realize its focus is us. It is so humbling and beautiful it makes me want to cry.
The Incarnation. The first Christmas. The gift that beats all others.
+In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.