Before I begin this final reflection for 2013, I must honour the passing of Nelson Mandela. I cannot be sad – at 95, he had to go sometime! Mostly I am grateful for and inspired by his life. Would that we followed his lead! An extraordinary example of doing the utmost with your God-given gifts.
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ (Matt 1:23)
Matthew’s telling of the Christmas story has different emphases. The extraordinary fact of the virgin birth is explained by the child’s divine nature. Yet not in a way that sets him apart. God is with us. This is a God longing to be in relationship with each of us. Do we have the eyes to see God’s daily revelation? Or are we too caught up in doing? Do we long to be in relationship with God? Many of us know the truth behind Augustine’s words: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you’.
Do our young people know, feel, believe that God is with them? Where and how do they find rest? The lives of young people are busy in ways ours weren’t at the same age. Young and old can be busy and distracted at Christmas. We would do well to rest in the knowledge that God is with us. How do we celebrate God with us at Christmas?
Have a blessed Christmas and a great break!