Today we celebrate the only gift worth celebrating: grace.
Grace did not first enter the world at Christmas. It was present from the moment time began. God oozes it from their very pores. No, the Incarnation was not about giving grace, but seeing it clearly. We are such an insecure people. God knew that the only way we could feel their love was to become one of us. And so Jesus was born, that we might know just how much we are loved, for we are all family.
Unfortunately, this Truth has yet to sink in. You would think two millenniums would be enough time, but apparently not. Our insecurity is too strong. We fear the vulnerability of love. So we hide behind greed, vanity, lust, and violence. We confuse happiness for joy, even though we have neither for long. It is all so very sad.
But that is why God gave us Christmas. An annual reminder that it doesn't have to be this way, that grace is always there for the taking, if we just open our hearts and see.
"I cannot escape you; but why would I want to? You are beauty, glory, joy, ecstasy, and the shiver up my spine when I feel your touch upon my soul. You are something truly wonderful. A word like love can never fully contain your essence, but it will have to do, for you are warm and sublimely wonderful love."
These words are my Christmas gift: to you, to myself, and most importantly, to God. They come from the newest addition to "The Book of We Are", a journal entry I've titled "No Escape". They describe a vision I have glimpsed for over two decades, but have only really looked at in the last few months. And the more I gaze, the more aware I am of what matters and what does not. This is the gift of grace.
"You call and reveal, sharing your love, your being, with no expectation of response. But how could I not respond? You flood my soul and I cannot possibly contain it within. I cannot escape you, and I never will. Thank you my friend."