it's christmas eve morning. everyone is still asleep, and i am sitting at dad's computer with a perfect cup of starbuck's ethiopia sidamo blend. all is well.

as a rule, the christmas season makes me reflective, and this one is no different. given the fact that i have watched the new version of 'miracle on 34th street' more times than i can count, the last time being just a week ago, one of the lines that usually strikes me, struck me again. richard attenborough, [santa claus], explaining why his role as the guy in red is important, says, "I'm a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives." hmmm.

throughout this past week, i have been painfuly aware of the power of these selfish & hateful tendancies in my life, and how much control they have. and while i am not ashamed to admit that a small part of me still believes in santa claus, i know that nothing he, or his symbolic power can do can ever rid me of all that is dark inside, and make me deserving of anything more than a lump of coal.

enter Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us. Not someone far away who drops in once a year, bringing down a judgement on whether we've been good or bad and rewarding us accordingly, but God with us...seeing the small good we do, but more importantly, seeing all that is in us, including the dark, hateful, selfish parts, and who chooses to love us anyway. Chooses to save us from our worst enemy: ourselves. Who, all those years ago, could look ahead to his death, and beyond through all of history up to this moment, and determine that in spite of all the bad, horrible things that lay between his birth and here, that nothing is so horrible, in our world or in us that God would change his mind and abort the plan.

o come, o come Emmanuel.


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