Advent Reflections 2020 – Day 25


Advent 2020 – O Emmanuel

Based upon: Isaiah 7.14

By David Tomlinson, Bishop’s Leadership Team – Please Share Widely

Youtube Subtitles

Hello and happy nearly christmas i don’t know about you but i often find that christmas is a time of year when relationships can really stick out when people loving people starts to get tricky the loved ones that are gone can feel more painful in their loss the relationships that are prickly feel sharper while the ones that are loving can feel that bit deeper and that bit richer and all the ways we love people are as varied as there are people to be loved however there are a couple of simple questions that i find helpful helpful in reflecting on the way that i love is my loving about me or is it about them is my loving others about me or is it about them when it’s about me my loving becomes a frenetic rushing about to do things for them all my activity all my rushing makes it so clear that i am an amazing person that they should be so glad i’m in their lives that i’m worth loving back that i have a lot to offer that i buy the best christmas presents but if they have a problem i am the solution and if they need fixing well i’m the best fixer-upper in the business i do stuff i do it for them and they should be could be hopefully will be oh so grateful the other kind of loving is really different is loving that is all about them not me them when our children were small i’m gonna get a sickness bug or something either my wife or i and sometimes both of us would sit on the floor at the side of their bed there was really nothing much we could do but actually what we needed to be was there with them being our being with being with them being at their side sitting with them in the yucky moments of the night our love was made far clearer than if we were rushing around tiding their bedroom or constantly asking them if they were all right or anxiously just talking about nothing to be with is about the giving of ourselves giving ourselves a way for the flourishing of another and this is the love we find in god revealed in jesus and brought into focus at christmas time he shall be called emmanuel wrote the ancient prophet emmanuel it means god with us being with this year has taken on a whole new set of meanings who would have known a year ago that to bubble with someone would actually be a thing loving someone enough to be with them in this year of challenge and distance has sometimes meant not been able to be with them in the physical sense at all it has meant instead being more intentional about sending cards or making a phone call or waving through a window it’s meant feeling keenly not being able to be physically with them whilst walking with them in solidarity in the fight against infection against pandemic god being with us is the gift that christmas points to it’s the one gift that never wears out doesn’t need batteries and is definitely far too big to wrap it’s a gift that’s not about everything being lovely but about knowing that we are loved in everything i was once walking past a queue of people waiting to buy a lottery ticket with your faith call the guy you should be in this queue with my faith i retorted i don’t need to be the point was that whether i had a lottery ticket or whether i didn’t god with us is true for god loving us is about loving us about being with us connecting sustaining and holding us god poured himself out in love that we might discover that in the place of our poverty god is with us in the place of our plenty god is with us in the mind numbing grief of bereavement god is with us in the yucky dark moments of the night god is with us and in the joy-filled moment of the day god is with us and he’s not with us as a fairy godmother who fixes things nor is a despot desperate for adoration but as love walking alongside holding our hand touching our being with his but that is the gift of christmas emmanuel god with us so go be with him for he holds you and me in the palm of his hand a god of love revealed in christmas


Share to your social accounts