Emmanuel – God is with us
The story goes that the new parents have visitors, people come to see the miracle of a new life. Wise men come – rich men, foreigners, from far-off lands. Shepherds visit too – poor folk, from the local hillsides.
Rich or poor, they bring gifts for the child. The wealthy bring gold and perfumes, fit for a king; the poor likely bring nothing more than their curiosity. As they lay their gifts before this child, they realise that they too are receiving a gift – a mysterious, joyful gift from God. For that’s what this child is, a gift from God, so small yet large enough to be shared by all who come to visit.
The gift was shared by shepherds and wise men once upon a time; it is shared by all of us here and now. God’s gift is one which shows unsurpassable love for all people, for all creation.
This Christmas Day we too will give and receive gifts. Large or small, many or few, costly or inexpensive – it doesn’t matter. The gifts are symbols of a thing far more important that what they actually are. The gifts are symbols our love, shadows of that gift of love made by God to all of us. In the gift of the life of this child Jesus, Emmanuel, God shows that he loves us, that he is Emmanuel: God is with us … always.
This Christmas may we all hold on to the love our gifts symbolise – love human and divine. Have a good Christmas, all of you.