Beyond Christmas

Over this season we celebrate not some distant, historical event, but the recurring truth through which we live each day with hope and courage:
God is with us!
In the midst of our joys and our triumphs:
God is with us!
In bread broken with family and friends, and stories shared of the good times – and the hard times that we have come through –
God is with us!
In the quiet longing of homes in which children do not play because of fertility issues or custody arrangements,
God is with us!
In boisterous celebrations centered more around booze and food and presents than Christ’s coming,
God is with us!
In disheartening table-talk about corruption and governance and the falling Rand and the unfallen rain,
God is with us!
In bushes and under overhangs where a table is an unaffordable luxury and the ground makes a welcome bed at the end of each day,
God is with us!
In the rising rays of sunlight that break the dark of night and begin a new morning with new possibility,
God is with us!
In the valley of the shadow of loss and death and inconsolable grief and utter aloneness,
God is with us!
 
This is the true gift of Christmas-time; a gift that endures beyond a single day!
In a tiny city, in a dim and grimy “stable,” a faithful girl and a devout man participated in God’s great plan to show us that we are never alone: that God is never far from our circumstances nor our cries.
May the preciousness of this great gift and the sense of God’s nearness be an abiding one – this day and every other day.

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