I'm in full week-before-Christmas mode, my friends. A little Christmas energizer bunny, let me tell you. In some ways I'm loving it because my schedule is so much lighter this year-- I'm able to do so many DIY things, which my heart just relishes. On the other hand, I have to be careful to stay focused (or re-focus!) on Christ. Ready for some realness? This morning, I spent my usual time in prayer with coffee mug in hand, talking to Jesus as I sipped my Nutcracker Sweet brew. Yet not once, not twice, but THREE times I found myself trailing off into Christmas gifts, recipes, and traveling. Shameful. Praying for the grace to delight the treats and traditions, but to cultivate a heart like Mary's-- always pondering the mystery of Christ.
I'm sitting here looking at those two words again. Words I so often take for granted, this Jesus who is our God and Savior. But a conversation at work last week brought me back to the reality and gift of those two words...
I work for three amazing cardiologists. They are great doctors and great men. I enjoy a wonderful working relationship with them (and their accents are charming!). Dr M is close to my dad's age and enjoys teasing me mercilessly. We've also had some thought-provoking conversations about life and politics and religion.
So during a lull in the schedule last week, Dr M sought me out for some teasing and conversation. When I was getting married. How many kids I would have. Questions that for a Catholic, will inevitably lead to contraception vs. being open to life and God's will! It was such a graced conversation, friends! I shared my heart and faith...and he shared his. I was so grateful for the Holy Spirit's presence, giving me a calm heart and helpful words (not always what happens when I try to evangelize, you know!). But I was also saddened by the reality of our differences...the difference of life without Jesus as Savior.
For my dear Muslim doctor-friend, Jesus is merely a prophet. God is a master. A just God who requires obedience.
But for us, for Christians...Jesus is our Savior. God is our Father. A just God, yes, but also a God of mercy and forgives us when we fall. What a difference! What a gift to know God in this way.
This is Christmas! That God our Father sent His son to be our Savior. The story we 'all' know, right? Or do we all? This conversation reminded me that we don't all know the story of Christmas...or at least not everyone knows the God of Christmas. The One who became flesh and dwelt among us, so that we could touch Him, laugh with Him, watch Him cry, listen to His stories, and then see Him victoriously conquer death. A God who wants to be known in the most intimate ways...as Father, Friend, Lover.
Perhaps the challenge is for all of us, even me. To share this God, this story of Christmas, this gift with those around us.
But also for us to go ever deeper into our relationship with Him...so that we not only know about Him, but we truly know Him.