Be present and celebrate

The Nativity. Image courtesy of Janet Best. Used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 Deed license.
 on December 1, 2023

Words are not enough.

We are coming again to that time in the church year when we celebrate the Word that becomes flesh and dwells among us — Emmanuel.

This Advent and Christmas season I invite you to consider that the fundamental teaching of the Incarnation is that words are not enough. God comes to us not in words, but in the flesh — in the person of Jesus. Yes, Jesus teaches us with words. But more fundamentally, he teaches by actions, by presence, by healing, by suffering, and by dying and rising again.


If words were enough, God would have sent a book. But no, God became flesh. Words, as lovely as they are, are not enough.

The Jewish theologian, Martin Buber, taught that dogma is the most exalted form of invulnerability to revelation. Buber invited religious people into what he called “holy insecurity.”  When we enter into holy insecurity we wrestle with presence instead of resting in beliefs. What would this Advent and Christmas season look like, if instead of resting in our beliefs, we wrestled with the presence of God, of Jesus, of the Spirit?

This season I invite you to let go of words, and instead be present and celebrate God’s presence. Open yourself to God incarnate, God with us, in the ordinary and the everyday, in the the broke and the whole, and in the beautiful and the despised. God is truly with us. God has taken on flesh, God has broken into Creation to walk among us.


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