Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us
December 24, 2013Rev. John P. Spencer, SJ, Chaplain and Associate Vice President of Mission and Ministry
From the book of Genesis we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... And God said, ‘let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind’. And so it was. God made… all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’… In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them… God saw all that He had made, and it was very good… the sixth day.
Anticipating the remembrance of Christ’s birth, the scriptures recall us to the graciousness of God’s love for each of us. We certainly see the gift of that love in all of God’s creation, a creation that was set in motion before the creation of humankind. God had set the stage: the sun and stars, the oceans and mountains, the fruits and plants, flora and growing things, and all the animals – of all sorts. Then God created humankind and gave us the privilege of stewardship over all creation.
Meet Riley. Riley has been in my family quite a while via a long line of golden retrievers: Riley, Aretha, Molly, Max, Gregor and the lineage continues … Riley captures the Advent spirit in a number of ways. She can be patient and steadfast, she can be affectionate and pleasing, she can be comforting and attentive, she can be playful and serious, curious and alert, she can learn new things, she can be restful and yet soothing. Riley is sometimes excited: a new toy or bone can send her racing into dizzying circles. My family tells me that when they tell Riley I’m coming to visit, she positions herself at the front door and waits for my arrival. Her greeting is more than enthusiastic; jumps and kisses, and when I take my seat she immediately jumps into my lap and settles in!
The essence of scripture is God’s gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ. “God so loved the world, He gave us His only Son.” From the beginning of creation, from all that God had made, all creation awaited this birth. And from the exalted heavens to the humble retriever all creation reflects God’s graciousness in Jesus Christ.
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