Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, December 21

And all flesh will see the salvation of God.
—Luke 3:9

In my tradition, we celebrate communion each Sunday—sharing bread and wine together as the family of God. We might not agree on everything, we might misunderstand each other from time to time, but no matter what, we come together to share a meal. It's a sacred symbol of our communion with each other—not just bread and wine, but body and soul touching one another in the holy space of church.

Unfortunately, the solemnity of sharing the meal has become ritualistic. Yet just the other day I walked up to the communion rail like any other Sunday, and encountered the holy unexpected.

A boy, no more than four, was reaching up to me for the bread, but his head was down. As soon I placed the bread in his hands, he looked up with a great big smile and exclaimed, "Ready or not, here I come!"

Everyone laughed. It wasn't even one of those "we're-in-church-let's-hold-it-in" laughs; it was a real belly laugh. And it did feel good. This little boy who approached the rail with openness and frivolity brought something of God to the rest of us—something that had been missing. For in his innocence of hide-and-go-seek while at communion, he reminded us of God's love for all people just as they are.

Seeing the salvation of God is not something to fear. God coming among us and giving God's self to us as the child in a manger is something to celebrate. God comes to grow, crawl, and play among us as one who cares no matter what. No doubt, the child of Bethlehem will also walk into Jerusalem and be betrayed.

But the point of Emmanuel, God with us, is that God cares, loves, and cherishes. And when a little boy exclaims innocently that he's ready to play, doesn't his act remind us of the real life in the Christ-child? Doesn't he point to the loving embrace of a God that brings salvation to all?

Loving God, help me be more like a child and yell out in excitement when I see you more clearly. Help me look for you in the most playful places and when I find you there, celebrate with me. Amen.