Spiritual Director’s message for December 2009December 3, 2009
Dear Friends of Emmaus and Chrysalis
THE GREATEST GIFT … JESUS FOR EVERYONE …
On a starry night in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, two weary travelers made their way out of the hill country into town in search of a place to rest. Because they were not people of means,
Mary and Joseph had made the journey on foot with the help of donkeys, even though Mary was nine months pregnant. The overcrowded city offered the desperate couple no accommodations, so they resorted to a stable.
The stable behind the inn would have been a simple cave like those seen in the hills around Bethlehem today, not the wooden structure we often see in nativity scenes. The young girl gave birth to baby Jesus on the hard ground of a dark animal pen. Mary had no doctor or mid-wife to assist her through the labor. Only Joseph was present for delivery.
Because their was no cradle, she wrapped her tiny infant Jesus in cloths and laid him in a feeding trough. There was no ceremony when the King of Kings entered this world.
It is striking that our Lord came in this way to live among us. We are so insistent on venerating our leaders. They live in luxurious places, wear the finest clothes, drive the nicest cars, and are surrounded by servants. Yet the greatest of all leaders came to this earth not to be served, but to serve others. On that night , he transformed the world…He shatered all our man-made structures and gave the poor and humble in spirit a chance to be great. He gave every one of us an opportunity to become a child of God.
That is what Christmas is all about. Jesus is the only one who can make it possible for us to stand in the presence of His Father and receive heaven as our eternal home. He didn’t need a title or a crown or recognition or money…Jesus has never needed those things to change people’s hearts, and neither do you. His love is enough to bring you joy, peace, happiness and eternal assurance. And this priceless Gift is available to every person on earth.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
Bishop Jim Sunderland, Community Spiritual Director
Keystone Emmaus Community