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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

648 there is no separation between God and creation. That’s the message. But we can’t believe it.

Day 648 Christmas Eve, 2021

there is no separation between God and creation.

That’s the message. But we can’t believe it.

Only One Message And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14

I know because it’s Christmas Eve, you’re surely hoping for some very special meditation. I don’t think I have one, because there’s really only one message. If we’re praying, it goes deeper and deeper and deeper. If we’re quiet once in a while, even on a busy day like today, it goes deeper and deeper and deeper still.

There’s really only one message, and we just have to keep saying it until finally we’re undefended enough to hear it and to believe it:

there is no separation between God and creation.

That’s the message. But we can’t believe it.

And so this Word, this Eternal Word of God that we read about in the prologue to John’s Gospel, leapt down, as the Book of Wisdom [18:14–15] [1] says, and took its abiding place on Earth, in order to heal every bit of separation and splitness that we experience.

That splitness and separation is the sadness of the human race. When we feel separate, when we feel disconnected, when we feel split from our self, from our family, from reality, from the Earth, from God, we will be angry and depressed people. Because we know we weren’t created for that separateness; we were created for union.

So God sent into the world one who would personify that union—who would put human and divine together; who would put spirit and matter together. That’s what we spend our whole life trying to believe: that this ordinary earthly sojourn means something.

Sometimes we wake up in the morning wondering, what does it all mean? What’s it all for? What was I put here for? Where is it all heading?

I believe it’s all a school. And it’s all a school of love.

And everything is a lesson—everything.

Every day, every moment, every visit to the grocery store, every moment of our so-ordinary life is meant to reveal, “My God, I’m a daughter of God! I’m a son of the Lord! I’m a sibling of Christ! It’s all okay. I’m already home free! There’s no place I have to go. I’m already here!”

But if we don’t enjoy that, if we don’t allow that, basically we fall into meaninglessness. Friends, we need to surrender to some kind of ultimate meaning. We need to desire it, seek it, want it, and need it.

I know no one likes to hear this, but we even need to suffer for it. And what is suffering? Suffering is the emptying out of the soul so there’s room for love, so there’s room for the Christ, so there’s room for God.

Jesus came as an ordinary person. This small, simple, beautiful bud—with its extraordinary ordinariness—reminds us to see the goodness in creation and be present to this moment, right here, right now.

Prayer For Our Community

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair.

Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.

Listen to Father Richard pray this prayer aloud.

A Christmas Story

Not having seen my family for a very long time we reunited last Christmas and celebrated the newest arrival to our family. Holding baby Holly in my arms for the first time I was moved by the sound of her tiny breath. I felt as if I was holding the gift of God and it inspired me to write these few lines:

I have searched the world,

No stone unturned.

Then I found you,

In the tiny second of a breath.

New Born.

—Deirdre C.

A Grace Note from Steve Lyman:

I will be with family and not available for next Sunday's liturgy. Please thank the community for all the prayers sent my way regarding my surgery. I am doing very well and taking it easy. Shannon has been a saint taking excellent care of me since I cannot bend, lift or twist for 6 weeks. I still have some moments of discomfort but I not taking any narcotics and I am moving better each day. Physical therapy has come to the house multiple times and I am doing the exercises they have prescribed. If you can send our love to the Emmaus Community and a big hug and thank you. Love you all, Steve

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