Once again the Christmas proclamation resounds through our world. We can never fully grasp the awesome reality of this event. The Word of God has made his dwelling among us and is manifested in the person of Jesus. Jesus becomes the new dwelling place of God.
The biblical scholar Mary Coloe, in her thesis God Dwells with Us, explores the expression of “dwelling,” and she concludes that the word does not pertain to a physical place but indicates the personal relationship existing within Father, Son, and Spirit. To believe that God dwells among us is to believe that the mystery of the incarnation draws us into communion within the Trinity. The prologue of John’s gospel promises that those who believe will become children of God (1:12), sharing in Jesus’ experience of Father, Son, and Spirit. Thus, Christmas is not only a truth about Jesus. It is a truth about us.
You and I are given a lifetime, and then only gradually, to catch a glimmer of our identity as children of God. It is hard to claim this identity for ourselves. Too often we are distracted and disheartened. The darkness we encounter creates doubts, failures, ambiguities. If the world is infused with the Word of God, why does humanity lose its way in blindness and sin?
What we have is our belief that the incarnate Word entered human history to proclaim to every one of us who God is and how we can become like God. Sin does not have the last word. You and I, in our better moments, in times of stillness when other voices are silenced, do believe the eternal God and the indwelling Spirit speak their Word in us.
Glory be to the Eternal God, to Jesus Christ, to the indwelling Spirit among us.
Stephanie Nolan, O.S.U.
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