Your greatest gift may lie yet undiscovered…
This is a season in which both joy and loneliness can be amplified. Many will reconnect with families and friends to eat and laugh and relax. For others loneliness will be intensified. The very fact that so many families come together and celebrate magnifies their own disconnected lives. When we don’t experience the love of other human beings, the love of God seems equally distant.
But this is exactly what made the life and message of Jesus so significant. In the midst of people going about their daily lives – with the same desires and concerns we have today – while religious thinkers were speculating about a holy god, Jesus confronted us with a new reality.
Those who knew Jesus, struggled for years to find better words to describe what they witnessed. Somehow they glimpsed God in this human. Somehow, in this person of Jesus, God was no longer a distant or separate being, but a tangible and present reality.
The love He showed for friends and strangers alike, made God more visible than what they ever imagined God could be. Love locates God, not in some otherworldly spiritual realm, but in flesh. Our speculations about a distant being are exposed for the foolishness they are, as this human being, Jesus, unveils the mystery that we are all entangled in. The very movement of relationship, the love that connects us, is the presence of the God who has never been distant.
Jesus experienced times of popularity with some, and times of rejection by even his closest friends. The full scope of the human experience, from ecstatic joy to unbearable pain, was evident in his life, yet the God he knew was not absent from any of those experiences. He even describes his own death as an act of love. (Jn. 15:13)
So whatever circumstances you find yourself in this season, whether in the midst of loving family or not, know that you are loved. And an awareness of this love transforms our experience. You have so much to give even if you do not have a cent. Your kindness, your love can be the very presence of God for another person. May Jesus come again this season … may he come through you.