“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name, Emmanuel” Meaning “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23, RSV).
There is a lot going on around us. Preparations for the celebration of Christmas. Shopping. Wrapping. Writing out Christmas cards. Choirs preparing for the Christmas Eve service. Organists preparing their pieces with the additional instruments. Clergy writing sermons, making their holiday rounds for the shut ins, etc. People are volunteering for the local soup kitchens to serve a Christmas meal for those who are in need.
As we journey through Late Advent to the celebration of the Nativity, we are comforted by the words, “God is with us.”
There are many for whom the Christmas holidays are anything but comfortable and joyful. Many of us have painful memories of family who are no longer with us. Last year I was in a year of grief when my mother passed away November 22, 2015. I was never so happy to see January 2nd arrive. Perhaps there are families with members in the military who are far from home. What does “God with us” mean for them?
Whether our lives are in some kind of happy order or not, the mystery that we can celebrate is that God is with us. God is with us and we are loved beyond our wildest imaginations. We are loved and viewed by God as God’s beloved in Christ, God’s Beloved Son. God sees what is in our hearts. God cares about what is happening, including, but not limited to those moments when our faith is shaken or weakened.
God is with us. God is here seeking union with us and calling us to seek union with God.
How are you celebrating or longing for the words “God is with us”?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB
Visit http://www.cos-osb.org to learn more about The Contemplatives of Subiaco-Order of Saint Benedict.