In my community and in my family I have noticed that we can all be stubborn about our need to be in control and independent. That’s why I find it interesting that God chose to reveal the Messiah laying in a manger. For me, this revelation can be quite difficult to accept because I didn’t think of it and I certainly would never have thought to be saved through such poverty. I simply don’t understand.
This past summer I caught my nieces and nephews in a moment of pure joy. They were all well-fed, playful and reconciled with each other. It was a beautiful moment! I could see God’s presence in each of their faces. Perhaps the birth of Jesus simply says that God wants to draw near to us all. To help us to smile and experience pure joy. Wanting us to be more and more humble and loving. Wanting us to be more trusting of a God who made an eternal covenant of love the moment we were baptized. Wanting us to stop trying to manufacture joy and simply be found by it.
In a way, the birth of Jesus can seem like the opposite of joy. In some ways Christ’s birth marks for Jesus, Mary, Joseph (and many others) the beginnings of tumultuous times of insecurity wrought with pain and suffering. But they all eventually found by joy. Like them we can discover through a baby lying in a manger that God will always find us. And that there is no place in existence where we cannot be found so long as we are willing to God’s plan usurp our own. May Christ’s presence in our communities and families this Christmas continue to lay waste to what keeps us from becoming one family. And may his joy, forgiving heart, and eternal desire to reconcile all things find us wherever we go in 2019!
On behalf of the editors of aroundthewell.ca may you have a blessed Christmas and a happy, and holy new year!
Toby Collins, CR
Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish
(below: a picture of my nieces and nephews in ‘perfect joy’)