Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
(ELW, No. 257, refrain)
Christmas Day is a hard one for many folks. People remember loved ones no longer with them or times in their lives when holidays were so much more magical, fun, or peaceful. But Jesus isn’t worried about Christmas Day. It’s just another day. Our Advent hymn reminds us that Christmas Day isn’t the culmination of Christ’s presence with us. Thankfully, it is only the culmination of shopping and endless Christmas tunes and fake snow. For Jesus Christ, it’s just the beginning of his time among us humans.
As part of the Triune being of God, Christ will always be with us, and be coming toward us, finding us, shining his beautiful light on our paths so that we can remain with him as we walk through our lives. He has come to save us from the despair that many of us feel around the holidays. He does not need our “Rejoice.” But he is also not too distant or mighty to want and cherish it, however loudly or softly we say or sing it. He gratefully accepts our “Rejoice!” any day of the year, whether we can muster it today or not.
Emmanuel, thank you that you understand all human emotions: sadness, grief, joy, and contentment. Just knowing you walk with each one of us opens up heaven to us. We rejoice in you. Amen.
Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.