Friday, December 27, 2013

The Meaning of Christmas

"I think that I shall never see,
a poem lovely as a tree..."

I used this poem in a preaching I gave from the reading in Isaiah regarding the stump of Jesse for my congregation in Columbus, OH. The deep rootedness of the tree of Jesse gives rise to a sprout who we have named 'Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace'. What we are given at Christmas is the entire universe made manifest in one human being. Who can begin to comprehend that?  Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear? Who can understand that the entire universe has been gifted by God to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear?

As I have spent these last few weeks away from the Novitiate in St. Louis, it has become clearer and clearer what a gift the canonical year thus far has been. As Kathy noted last week, there is so much to be grateful about.  Where else would I be able to spend a full year discerning, reflecting, learning, becoming more and more aware of God's great love for me, for us? Although it can be traumatic to learn just how inadequate I am in some areas of my life, it is also exhilarating to discover gifts I never knew I had!!  And to be enveloped by the warm, welcoming, hospitality and love of these Sisters of Peace is an enormous gift that each human being in the world should have an experience of at least once in their lifetime. It helps me to understand what it means to be human and to be the beloved of God.

So in this season of Christmas, I wish you the gift of Christmas, a newborn child, containing within himself the entire universe, to be given away for you and for me.

"...Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."


  1. Thank you for sharing your reflections, Anne. It was so good to spend some time with you during this precious and holy season. I pray the second half of your CDN experience is even more grace-filled, holy and happy than the first half!
    My love and prayers go with you!
    S. Amy OP

  2. Thank you, Anne, for your gift of preaching to us. Blessings to each one of you during this beautiful Season. We continue to hold you all in prayer. May the New Year be filled with many new and wonderful gifts!
    Sr. Michelle Sherliza, OP - Sr. Chris McManus, OP - Watertown, MA

  3. Anne, thank you for sharing, but I am confused. Are you saying that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of "the universe" and not the incarnation of the creator of the universe or the incarnation of the one through whom the universe was created (however we understand the unfolding of that creation)?