In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. —John 1:1,2,14 NIV
One Christmas, I traveled to Dallas to meet with friends who were celebrating a “Friendsmas.” At this gathering were seminarians and a homeless man they had befriended. He asked for a shower, and received toiletries and clean clothes to wear while his clothes were washed! At dinner, with tears in his eyes he said, “Wow, I feel like a new man and I am so thankful for what y’all just did for me. You have no idea how much this means.” I was overwhelmed to see that actions done out of love and compassion were received with such humility. This was truly a welcoming moment; though none of us knew how the night would go, God’s Holy Spirit was very present throughout the evening.
As I reflect on this John text, it speaks of how the word of God became human flesh, through Christ Jesus. Christmas is a joyful time, a time when we celebrate that word being made flesh with the birth of a child so small and humble. It’s that sense of humility that makes me think of our neighbors in The Shepherd’s Market who come humbly to receive. Many come who are physically hungry but they come spiritually hungry as well. What do our neighbors see in the faces and actions of The Shepherd’s Market volunteers who are serving them? Like that humble birth so long ago, God’s presence continues to find us in the ordinary places of our lives; time spent with loved ones and in acts of compassion and care to our neighbors.
Oh Holy one, Holy three, we celebrate the birth of your son today. We celebrate how his entrance into the world made your presence become flesh incarnate. May we continue to celebrate how you walk with us, and are there present in the spaces of our lives before we ever are. Amen.
Pastor Julia Puac-Romero