Sunday, December 13, 2009

Presents vs. Presence

Typically during the advent season, we hear a lot of the Christmas story as told by Matthew and Luke. This story involves angels, magi,, mangers, and a trip with a pregnant girl to a Bethlehem inn.

The gospel of John has its own Christmas story:
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This isn't quite as concrete as a baby in a manger, but the story is just as true. The Word who created all things became a part of His creation, stooped to become a tiny child in a vast world. If that weren't remarkable enough, He also allows any who pursue Him to become children too--children of God in reconciled relationship with the Father.

This reminds us that God is not "out there" somewhere, aloofly watching from a distance as we struggle to find Him.

He came. He is here. He is present.

In a season when our focus can be caught up in the purchase and consumption of presents, perhaps we need to be caught up in presence, focusing our attention on the relationships in our lives, remembering that God is with us so that we can be with others.

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