Today, we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! We celebrate the grace and spirit of God coming to us through the birth of a tiny and helpless baby to a seemingly simple young couple in a stable in a far-away land. What a miracle!
We have been waiting to celebrate this miracle with great anticipation during the past four weeks of Advent. We read our daily scriptures and Advent reflections, and we were encouraged to open our hearts and to still our minds for the magnificent event that was coming.
Today, we can experience again the full impact of this birth we have been excitedly anticipating, if Jesus also is reborn in our hearts, and if this rebirth is reflected in our actions.
Jesus is reborn in our hearts simply by our reaffirmation of the message God sent with Jesus, “God is with us.” He sent his son in human form to be with us. Jesus seeks us and comes without conditions or condemnations. We only have to let him in.
Jesus’ presence in our hearts calls us to love and care for others and to seek a world like the “peaceable kingdom” vision of Isaiah (Isiah 11:1-10), where: All of creation will live in peace. Justice will rule. The needs of the poor and disadvantaged will be addressed. Enemies, will lie down together in harmony. And all creation will have knowledge of God that comes from experiencing God’s presence and power.
In short, when Jesus is present in our hearts, we are filled with God’s grace. We are called to be people who are not content with the world as it is, but who are committed to working for the world as it should be. We are called to bring the world a little closer to reflecting the vision of Isaiah. Christmas moves us from a time of Advent reflection to a rebirth of Jesus in our hearts that also translates into our actions. I wish you a blessed and merry Christmas!
Julie H. Sullivan, President