’Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: . . . And they will call him Emmanuel (Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’)”Matthew 1: 20-23
The Demand of Dwelling Together
By Scott Carlson
One of the gifts of our Christian faith, is the mystery of this idea that God chooses to dwell with us, in our midst. Two quotes from Mother Teresa highlight well how radical and demanding this sense of incarnation can mean when we take it seriously.
“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor (From ‘A Gift for God’).”
“Some people came to Calcutta, and before leaving, they begged me: ‘Tell us something that will help us to live our lives better.’ And I said: ‘Smile at each other; smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.’ And then one of them asked me: ‘Are you married?’ and I said: ‘Yes, and I find it difficult sometimes to smile at Jesus.’ And it is true, Jesus can be very demanding also, and it is at those times when he is so demanding that to give him a big smile is very beautiful (From ‘A Gift for God’).”
We are the people of God. How we live, how we treat one another, reflects God living in us. How we live, how we treat one another, should reflect how we perceive God living in another. May we celebrate God’s dwelling with us, that others may see God shine through.
Loving God, we are yours. Thank you for walking with us through these challenging days. At a time when so many of our contacts with others is limited, teach us to be good to those around us. Help us to see those around us, the familiar and the not so familiar as gifts you have sent us today. May we eagerly welcome them and hear your voice as it comes to us through them. Live in us and move through us to touch this world. Amen