Buechner: Gift of Christmas
“O Lord, the gift of new life, new light, can be a gift truly only if we open ourselves to receive it. So this is our prayer, Lord: that thou wilt open our eyes to see thy glory in the coming again of light each day, open our ears to hear the angels’ hymn in the stirring within us of joy at the coming of the child, open our hearts to the transforming power of thy love as it comes to us through the love of all those who hold us most dear and have sacrificed most for us.
Be born among us that we may ourselves be born. Be born within us that by words and deeds of love we may bear the tidings of thy birth to the world that dies for lack of love. Amen” Frederick Buechner, “Come and See,” Secrets in the Dark A Life in Sermons, p. 55. HarperSanFrancisco 2006.
The gift of Christmas is the incarnation, a big word that means that God loves us so much that God came among us and became human. It was and is a gift. The gift of the incarnation also extends to us as it did to Mary. There is a part of God born in us and in every other person we will meet.
Advent is a time for us to prepare to honor the Creator by learning how to keep unwrapping that gift that we celebrate receiving during the Christmas season.
My granddaughter and I have a tradition of spending time together wrapping presents beginning in October. Wrapping gifts that soon will be unwrapped becomes a significant part of my year during this time.
As I meet with people in spiritual direction I cannot help but imagine how they are unwrapping that gift of the Christ Child in themselves. We as spiritual friends have the privilege of watching and waiting for the excitement of Christmas morning with them. When some realize that Christ is in them, they excitedly unwrap the present almost tearing the paper apart. Others unwrap the gift slowly and cautiously.
We as observers also receive a gift, for the gift of the Christ Child is too powerful to keep and must be shared. Spiritual friends help us unwrap the gift in ourselves as well. The gift that now shines so brightly in them assists us in unwrapping that gift of the Christ child in ourselves.
All of our experiences are different, but the gift is continually offered to all of us by the One whose name is Love.