Merry Christmas, friends of Soma!
I don’t know about you, but it has not been an easy journey of advent 2016! Waiting has been hard. Especially when I paused, and paid closer attention to my emotions, my actions and my thinkings. At the end of each day, I was reminded of me of my deep need for Jesus.
Christmas can be a difficult time for many – the big social gatherings, the pressures to buy and to give, the anxieties of having to please others, and the list goes on.
Today, I was reminded of a prayer from Henri Nouwen that I wanted to share with you all. This prayer challenged me not to run away from the brokenness that I often feel during the season – but instead, to embrace the feelings…
“O Lord, how hard it is to accept your way. You come to me as a small, powerless child born away from home. You live for me as a stranger in your own land. You die for me as a criminal outside the walls of the city, rejected by your own people, misunderstood by your friends, and feeling abandoned by your God.
As I…celebrate your birth, I am trying to feel loved, accepted, and at home in this world, and I am trying to overcome the feelings of alienation and separation which continue to assail me. But I wonder now if my deep sense of homelessness does not bring me closer to you than my occasional feelings of belonging.
Where do I truly celebrate your birth: in a cozy home or in an unfamiliar house, among welcoming friends or among unknown strangers, with feelings of well-being or with feelings of loneliness?
I do not have to run away from those experiences that are closest to yours. Just as you do not belong to this world, so I do not belong to this world. Every time I feel this way I have an occasion to be grateful and to embrace you better and taste more fully your joy and peace.
Come, Lord Jesus, and be with me where I feel poorest. I trust that this is the place where you will find your manger and bring your light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Amen.” (Nouwen, H. (1988). The Road To Daybreak. New York, New York: Double Day).
My prayer for us is that when we sense a feeling of homelessness this next week, that we would recognize the feeling and bring it to our Father in humility.
Christmas songs, worship services, nice presents, dinner after dinner, beautifully written cards…No matter what our Christmas is like, may our sense of homelessness only bring us closer to our true Home.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.