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There are moments and days when we feel overwhelmed by the gnawing need to find meaning. The way we think, the way we behave, the choices we make and do not make, the books we read, the way we spend our money are indications of this inner need to find meaning in our existence. Christmas makes us wonder if perhaps God can bring meaning into our lives, and if God can really spare us from the pain of being alone.

Because God is transcendent – that is, greater than we can comprehend – our lives do mean something, not because of what we do, but because of who we are and who God is.

Because God is transcendent we need never succumb to the meaninglessness that screams at us from the television screen, in the newspapers, in advertising, or even in the hushed silence of our own soul. Not even when our self-esteem is at an all time low. Not even when we have made a mess of our lives. Not even when we see no purpose to our existence. Not even when it seems that everyone has reason to celebrate but us. Because God is greater than we are, we can know that we are forever known, forever loved, and forever valued.

Just as God’s transcendence assures us that we have meaning, God’s immanence – that is, God’s being as near to us as our very breath – assures us that we are never alone or in total isolation – cut off from life and goodness, inconsequential as a grain of sand on the beach of earth. Because God is immanent we need never go through any experience believing that no one cares, no one understands, no one will feel the pain with us. Not even when we feel alone. Not even when it seems we have been abandoned by those who said they loved us. Not even when the trials of life seem more than we can bear. Not even when our anger and agony are so deep as to be beyond words. God can be with us, understand us, and feel our pain, because God became a human – a human baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. God ‘walked the talk.’

So here we are at Christmas. It is good that over two millenniums ago a young virgin and her betrothed stumbled wearily into a stable. It was there, yes it was there that the God beyond us became the God among us – and in one cosmic moment, made us forever one.

Renée Miller

Read by Renée Miller. Music composed and performed by Thomas Pavlechko. Copyright©2003 Selah Publishing. Used courtesy of Selah Publishing.


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