Holidays are not always a time of cheer and celebration.

For many, they are time to be reminded–vividly–that their own lives do not resemble the picture-perfect images on the TV screen, or for that matter on the Facebook status lines of many friends.

Many are having a miserable Christmas, as they often have a miserable holiday.
you are not alone in this
They are times that they are reminded–yet again–of dead or departed loved ones who are not with them this year.
And many have no one to share the cheer of the holiday season with in a meaningful way.

Many are dealing with the stress of being around family, which tends to amplify the tensions that are always there beneath (or above) the surface.
If this is you, love and prayers your way,
and ahumble plea to remember that you are not alone,
and many love you dearly and are here for you.

 

May it be that you remember that one of the symbolisms of Christmas is the descent of God not into the places not whole and the well-to-do, but rather in the manger, into the marginalized, into the brokenhearted.

As we are so often told, God is close to the broken hearted.
If you are broken, May God be close to you.

The brave theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once said:

“Who among us will celebrate Christmas right? Those who finally lay down all their power, honor, and prestige, all their vanity, pride, and self-will at the manger, those who stand by the lowly and let God alone be exalted, those who see in the child in the manger the glory of God precisely in this lowliness.”

If you find yourself among the lowly, May God be with you.
And may you find yourself in the company of others who gravitate to your lowliness, to find God there with you.

Merry Christmas.

Categories: Beliefs

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Omid Safi

Omid Safi

Omid Safi is a Professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He leads educational tours to Turkey every summer, through Illuminated Tours: http://www.illuminatedtours.com

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