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Christmas Being

            Being. Focusing on being versus compulsive doing. That’s what prompted me several years ago to start writing my book, Growing Generous Souls. I had experienced dozens of years of well-meaning doing in the church, dotted with periodic moments sensing our being in the presence of the Living God. My study of the spiritual disciplines affirmed that our human sense of be-ing deepens when we are consciously present to God’s Presence with us. Prayer, meditation, contemplation, Scripture reading and all those other habits can help us simply be with God, open to God’s grace. The Bible speaks of God’s Presence – in Hebrew cabod – the Presence (literally weight or riches) of God’s glory.

            So here we are at Christmas: Jesus Christ coming to us once again as Emmanuel, which means “God Is With us.” God is present with us, and we belong to God in Christ, no matter what our situation in life or even in death. (Rom. 14:8) So here, in a reading for Christmas Day, is the bedrock foundation for our being: Jesus Christ as “the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.” (Heb. 1:3)

            God is the One “in [Whom] we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) As the poet e. e. cummings says, “how should tasting touching hearing seeing / breathing any – lifted from the no / of all nothing – human merely being / doubt unimaginable You?”

Your partner in the gospel,

Betsy Schwarzentraub