Before I get all Christmassy, I went to a funeral today. It was a moving celebration of a woman much loved and missed by her family and friends. The part of the talk I most appreciated was when the speaker talked about the way our friend would live on through her daughters. He carefully identified the determination, the love for children and the creative gifts of a dear mother and the way these traits are clearly displayed in the talents and outlook of her precious girls.
They will never forget the things she taught them, and I guess we are all influenced by those who bring us up. My sister and I look more like our mum as the years pass, and we both use phrases that make it so obvious we are related to our parents. Obvious to us anyway. The influences of nature and nurture cause us to reflect both positive and negative traits of our parents and carers. I remember when my nephew started saying things I say – what a responsibility!
The line from the carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, invites Jesus to enter in – be born in us today. We celebrate the coming of Emmanuel – God with us, and the mystery continues as Christ is born in each human heart who welcomes him. May we reflect him over this festive season. May we share something of his love and willingness to serve as we spend time with loved ones or continue the work we do.
I know Christmas is a lonely time for some people. I pray that we will all know God’s peace and blessing at this time and reach out to share with those who might feel left out or isolated. I am thankful to be safely with my sister and her family and that I will get to spend time with my parents and other friends as well over the next week. I wish everyone reading a very happy Christmas, and a blessed 2011.