Christmas blessing


Here we are again, for roughly the 1,800th time, celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Christ, or the Anointed One of God. Christmas we’ve called it since sometime in the fourth century when Christians began putting new purpose into festivals around the winter solstice.
Christmas in our religious calendar is known as the feast of the Incarnation, the fleshing of God. Divine life took on human life in Jesus. Why? We have several ways of working on that question, but they all point in one direction: To show us the way home.
Or, to model the way of unity, peace and joy in life.
So what we are remembering and celebrating next week is the way of embodying God in human affairs. It happened first in the person Jesus. His followers carry on by bringing God to flesh in our days and nights.
God becomes incarnate in the teacher drawing students to see new truth.
God becomes flesh in the clown who causes pure delight in his audience, in the farmer calculating the best use of his land, in the nursing home aide carefully bathing an old man.
The incarnation of God goes on in the work of the Sisters of Humility as they mother new life for floundering parents and their children, in the careful cutting of animal parts by meat-packing workers who stand at a bloody link in the food chain, in the listening by a legislator as a constituent explains her point of view.
God becomes flesh in moms and dads who spend themselves for their children, in the injured person forgiving his attacker, in the counselor who shows a petty crook new options for life, in the child who befriends a shy classmate.
The examples are endless, and intended to be that way. Christmas, the enfleshing of God, was not to be a single, unrepeatable flash of light. It was unique in Jesus and his mother Mary, but as the origin and model for our awakening through history. God did not stop becoming flesh at the birth in Bethlehem — unless we stop putting into flesh the justice, the mercy, the love of God in our lives.
Christmas is our blessing to pass on. Be glad in it.
Frank Wessling

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