The priest at Christmas Eve mass struck a chord with me. He began by reflecting on the first men on the moon — seeing the earth “as it really is” from a distance. He spoke about them looking back at earth and seeing it as a distant, beautiful blue and green globe. He progressed to Bette Midler’s “From a Distance” with God watching us from a distance. The good in this view is that we can see that we are all so very alike — all so very human. But, he and I agree – Christmas proclaims a very different reality. God is with us. God is not watching from a distance.

God may very well be able to step back and get some distance. We humans all need to do that at times… get some distance. But, the reality is that God is with us. God is in the midst of the messiness of our lives. God is present in birth and death and every experience in between. God is present in the joy of a new child, the frustration of a father who is struggling to make a decent life for that child and in an inn keeper who is out of resources and doesn’t have room. God is so very present that he took on our flesh, walked in our bones, felt all of our emotions, loved up close.

Christmas reminds me of this. If God loves me enough to take on my form of existence and walk with me, then I am called to do the same with others — and not stay at a distance. That’s not really what I think of as easy — I do separate myself. I am unwilling to share all too often even with those I am physically close to.

Little Child — help me to be willing to live not at a distance from You or our brothers and sisters.

Oh – and Merry Christmas!