Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fellow-Passengers To The Grave

Ten months ago the idea of leaving so many things behind to move to another country seemed much easier and more thoughtless, especially when I was so fortunate to bring so much with me. My ancestors would have been jealous at the many suitcases I was able to fill and bring with me. Still, it is hard to forget the people, places, and things left behind. It seems easy enough to go about life normally until that moment when you are making something in the kitchen and think; “This would be so much easier if I had my…..” or when something happens and you think; “I wish my friend ______ were here to share this with.” Even when you look on social media and see the many traditions, customs, and places that family and friends are visiting this holiday season, you start to miss what you once knew. 
The things left behind are drawn back to memory and the floodgates of want and longing are opened. I wonder if the soul without God knows that longing even more profoundly; to be constantly without something and searching for that one thing to make them whole. I believe this is where Christ meets us all in this festive time of year. As Charles Dickens says in his work of A Christmas Carol: 
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on their journeys."

It is at this time of year where we find that commonality among us all, and why? Because Christ came to us, as one of us not one above us. Thinking himself as nothing, taking the very form of a servant. He left behind far more a kingdom, much more impossible to forget. The longing for his heavenly home must have always been there, but what was greater was his longing to bring all “passengers to the grave” home again. Our pilgrimage upon this earth will be filled with things and people lost, and things left behind, but our comfort comes to us in One who promises full restoration not one day out of the year, but for eternity. 

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

O Holy Night -by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure 1847
translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).

Merry Christmas! 

With Love, Roberto and Katie