The Lovely Joanne is gone this week on business, and her daughter (Mimi the cat) misses her tremendously. So do I, but the cat tends to express it in different ways like walking around the house meowing as though I had taken away her food bowl. In the middle of the night. Separation anxiety is a terrible thing!
You probably know where I'm going with this. Whenever we humans go our own way and try to make life turn out the way we want, on our own steam, we're turning our backs on the one Source of life, happiness and peace. Well, guess what? Anxiety results! By trusting ourselves, instead of God, we not only are unsuccessful in our pursuits, but we live anxious and unsettled lives.
The wonderful message of the Incarnation, celebrated this time of year with Advent and Christmas, is that God has come to be with us in the person of his Son Jesus; and has permanently erased that separation. Jesus said in Matthew 11:27 “No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Jesus came to show the Father to all of us wandering people (John 14:6-11).
To make the truth even more amazing, Jesus said "When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20; also John 17:21). His being "in" the Father, and our being "in" him, is no mere wordplay; it is a word picture of the intimacy, the closeness, the bond of love, that the Father and the Son have for us, as expressed through the Holy Spirit's mind in us. The Father's intention, as delivered through his Son's life on earth as he brought all of creation back to himself, was and is for us to be in complete unity and intimacy with him again, forever.
The holiday seasons can be lonely times as we miss the companionship of loved ones, or wish for closeness with others and see it missing from our lives. Jesus came that we might never have to be truly lonely again. He wants us to know the love of the Father and never be without it. So if you know those who, this time of year or any time, are feeling lost, left out or alone, why not find a way to help them know that love of God for them? As you call or write, visit and sit with them or help with chores, you're expressing to them the love that God sent into the world through his Son, and continuing the Son's work in the world. That love flowing through you will increase your own closeness to the Father, too.