When the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy,
He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
It’s Christmas, and the Christmas story is full of themes of justice. I could tie it to migration. I could tie it to living simply and focusing on fair and ethical production. I could tie it to birth inequality, systemic violence, racial cleansing, and more.
But I’m already anxious, and despite the decorations, the songs, and the candles on the Advent wreath, it’s easy to forget that we’ve spent weeks preparing for this as we busily trudged through work, holiday prep, feelings of loss and loneliness, and a lot of worrisome and troubling news in the world.
But again, it’s Christmas, Beloveds.
Let that child-like innocent joy and excitement wash over you. For today Jesus, the light of the world, is born and shining brightly.
God loved you so much he sent his only begotten son, word made flesh, the light that cannot be overcome, to save us. To save you.
The waiting, anticipation, anxiety, and struggle of the Advent season is over. You are beloved.
Take a moment. Breathe it in. Stare at the Christmas lights. Intentionally invite joy in. Intentionally invite Jesus in.
And remember why.
Why you care so much about people. About these issues. Remember why you are so passionate about building the kin-dom of God. Let yourself feel as beloved as you are. And let this love light your world. Let it recharge you. Let it fill you. Let yourself rest in it today.
For we are charged with building that kin-dom. We are charged with singing of the goodness of the Lord, forever through our words, our actions, our education, and our advocacy. May the light of Christ fill your heart and sustain you in the work this coming year.
Lena Chapin is the development director for Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from John Carroll University, she spent a year in Immokalee, Florida with the Humility of Mary Volunteer Service. Lena worked for the Ignatian Solidarity Network from 2016-2022.