Saturday, December 24, 2016

Relishing the Christmas Possibilities

Dear Friends,

If children will be part of your Christmas, be glad, because the house will resound with laughter and shrieks of delight. Children revel in Christmas. They learn early on about the generosity of God who came to be one with us, teaching us in the way he was born about simplicity and making due with little. Children don’t watch the joy of Mary and Joseph, or the shepherds coming in from the fields. 
They participate in that joy. They get excited about gift giving. They learn to rely on family and parish traditions that create the aura of Christmas. But Christmas is not primarily for children. It is essentially for adults who are trying to make real in life the faith that beckons them to be one with God.

Have you seen the GE commercial about messy imagination being born? It’s immediately rejected on the streets, in shops and neighborhoods. Imagination sleeps near the dumpster because no one wants it. “Imagination,” the voice-over goes on, “is the natural enemy of the way things are.” So is Jesus. Jesus is the natural enemy of the status quo which denies that life could be better, which accepts that lives are going nowhere. Jesus is rejected by many, even as the fruit of imagination is rejected.

Imagination gives rise to hereto for unexpected possibilities.

That first Christmas was a birth of possibilities for all who surrounded Jesus. One day, because the Word became flesh, the lame would walk, the blind see, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Love, justice and compassion would prevail. People’s lives would have new meaning. The ends of stories would be turned inside out. When Matthew and Luke wrote the Infancy Narratives, they weren’t writing for children, but rather for women and men who were struggling with the beliefs, attitudes and practices of faith. So too with us. We struggle with what the world calls us to and what Faith in God calls us to. These are not the same. But they need not be contrary to one another. After all, the only place we can live out our faith is in the life we live in this world, here and now.

Because Jesus came as one of us, Christmas encourages us to be aware of our capacity for change and growth. It’s all too easy to become creatures of habit and get stuck in our ways. It’s a challenge to start something new. I can’t is not a Christmas word. Of course you can. After all, didn’t God come to accompany us through the pages of the years.

What is still waiting to be born in us?
What talents have we neglected over the years?
What dreams of our childhood are still awaiting fulfillment?
How can we bring joy and greater life to those around us?

Because Jesus dared to be one with us, let’s let Christmas this year be a time for something wholly new to be born in us. Relish the Christmas possibilities. Christmas blessings to you and all you love.

~ Sister Joan Sobala

1 comment:

  1. Sr Joan, this is wonderful & I appreciate your wise words so much, as they helped & inspired me. God bless, thank you, and Merry Christmas­čÖĆ