John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
It was Christmas, 1998. As was and still is the tradition of my family, we were at my younger brother’s home, sharing Christmas morning. While we sipped our coffee and hot chocolate, we took turns opening gifts, starting with the children, followed by grandparents and finally we, the parents. Lots of love, laughter and gratitude were shared.
Once all the gifts were opened, we began picking up all the wrapping paper sprawled across the floor. I could see my nephew was sad. After all, the one gift he really wanted for Christmas had not come. Then all of a sudden my brother yells, “wait, we forgot something.” The look on my nephew’s face went from disappointment to hope. When he was handed the gift, he quickly opened it and there it was … a SONY Play Station! He was so happy. His face gleamed and he eyes welled up. It was a moment of love, or what I refer to as grace … a gift given from someone who loves him so much. His gratitude was memorable as well; he jumped for joy and hugged his parents. Today that boy is a young man, whose service and gratitude for others is visible not just at Christmas, but also all year-long.
What is grace amidst Christmas? Can it really be found? Days, and sometimes weeks, leading up to it, are usually filled with our busy schedules of work and school, shopping, concerts, and holiday festivities. And I wonder…
Where will I find my grace this season? Will it be in the sound of Christmas music? …In the aroma of the Christmas tree? …In the taste of bread pudding? …In laughter shared with friends celebrating the season? …In serving others? …Walking through the holiday booths looking for the perfect gift? …Marveling at the grandness of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and decorated windows? …In the gratitude given and received by others, as we exchange gifts?
Grace amidst Christmas also comes in the form of Advent, our Christian spiritual preparation that helps and leads us to “grace” incarnate — our Savior, Christ the King.
Perhaps I can find grace by staying in the moment… maybe I will experience grace in the gifts of love and peace; in the sharing of myself with others who might need a listening ear; in the space of my quiet moments where I refuel my soul to receive and give. Grace might be seen in us through Him who has given us grace.
I hope this Christmas we might see grace in each other through Him who has given us grace. May we may celebrate grace in love, kindness, laughter and in the giving and receiving of one another.
By Sandy Diaz
Feliz Navidad • Merry Christmas