O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, I sang as I lit the candles on my table.
I noticed the E had slipped off my peace sign. As I went to straighten it, still singing the words of that familiar Christmas carol, I thought about how the E in PEACE could represent Emmanuel.
There’s no real peace without him.
No peace in our hearts.
No peace in our relationships.
No peace in our world.
No real or lasting peace can be found anywhere else ~ O come, O come Emmanuel.
We often talk about that first Christmas and the gift we received through the babe in the manger.
The perfect gift given that no other gift could ever outdo or outshine.
Emmanuel: God with us.
As I fixed the E, I thought about how I was bringing (or not bringing) Emmanuel into my family, my relationships, my little corner of the world and beyond.
I don’t want to just receive the gift. I want to give the gift.
But I know I can’t humanly do that unless I invite the gift into my own life and not just once but everyday. O come, O come Emmanuel.
I need him here, now … right where I am.
Bob and I have conversations about this as he struggles with his health. We’ve talked about how we need Emmanuel to come daily into our situation. We have sung or just recited those words as a prayer often through the month of December… O come, O come Emmanuel. Here now. In this present moment. God with us. Emmanuel.
We’ve also examined ourselves in the days leading up to Christmas to make sure (as far as it depends on us) that we have given the gift of peace to others in our lives, offering forgiveness, asking for forgiveness and extending grace and love to others. O come, O come Emmanuel.
The broken parts of the world around us can only be mended as we carry the light into the dark. Emmanuel, the light in us leads the way.
These are the gifts that mean the most to us this year. The gifts we will give and hope to receive.
How about you? What gifts can you give to others? How can you bring Emmanuel into your life and into your relationships this Christmas? Real peace comes from the Prince of Peace. It’s that settled feeling deep in our souls that we are right with God and others.
Some gifts can only be wrapped in love and given in peace.