Christmas: Not all Peace and Joy!

It is hard not to be glib when wishing people season’s greetings if you realize how many people know nothing of the peace and joy that popular culture suggests should abound at this time of year. For many, this is the season they most dread – a time when they are reminded of the depths of their loneliness or the painful absence of love or personal well-being.

And so, as I prepare for a few weeks of my annual fast from blogging, email and posts to Facebook and Twitter, I ponder what wishes I have for you and the world. I encourage you to do the same.

My wish for both you and the world is the same. And it starts with you. I pray that you might know that the birth of Christ did not just happen in Palestine in the remote past but can happen within you daily. This might not seem relevant to you if you are not a Christian, but stay with me for a moment because I think you will see that it is.

I am convinced that our deepest reality is neither our life circumstances nor our feelings. It is the fact that we exist in God and God in us. This is truly good news! This is the reason for hope for us and for our world. We belong – in God and, therefore, to each other. And, although we may have trouble believing it, God has not abandoned us or the world. In fact, God continues to make all things new and invites us to join in this cosmic work of healing, reconciliation and transformation. That divine agenda is, I believe, our great hope.

Watch for chances over the upcoming holidays to help others know these truths through your presence and caring engagement. Reach out beyond your family and circles of friendship and touch the life of at least one person who desperately needs to know that they are not alone. Doing so will be good for you as well as for them. And it is one way we can live the reality of our shared being-in-God.

I expect to be back in early January. Till then, may you know this good news and may you live it!

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