2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
YOU WILL CALL HIM EMMANUEL, Is 7:13.
Christmas above all is a time to celebrate that golden moment when the Son of God became a man. It is also a time to remind ourselves that He must be reborn in the heart of each one of us. God is indeed with us, our Emmanuel.
It is with shock and awe that we see the God of the galaxies chose to take on our flesh. It is little wonder that the first heresies denied that God would so humble Himself to take on our nature. Today we have a much clearer idea of the size of the universe. We know there are hundreds of billions of stars in galaxies, and over a hundred billion galaxies. They have taken a very small space in the night sky, the size of the eye of FDR in a dime, and counted 1,500 galaxies in it. The God we worship is a lot bigger than we thought He was.
With childlike amazement we approach the little babe in the crib. How could such a God who made the heavens and earth take on a human nature? Yes, He is our Emmanuel. God is with us beyond our wildest imaging! But are we with Him? Is our heart elsewhere? Do I have a deep relationship with Him in prayer?
There is always a tendency to reduce this massive mystery of the Incarnation to a pure moralist response. Faced with the massive impact of God’s giving Himself in the crib our response must go far beyond just social or private moral concerns. We kneel with stunned wonder at God’s utter closeness to us.
Christmas is God’s ultimate statement of His desire to enter a deep and personal relationship with Him in prayer. The birth of Christ is a call to us of God’s intense desire to enter into an awe inspiring relationship with Him.
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. gives parish missions and retreats. He lives in the Passionist community in Detroit, Michigan.