The Gospel reading for this last Sunday before Christmas – the fourth Sunday of Advent – speaks of Christ as the one who comes to us as “God with us”. This is more than just a promise of God’s presence. It’s an indication of God’s longing for intimacy with us. God is not “up in heaven” watching us “from a distance”. Rather, God is immersed in our flesh, our experience and our world. The theological word for this is “incarnation” – that God takes on human flesh. This means that everything that makes up the physical world – from our planet to our bodies – is important to God. Spirit and matter are not separate, but are one, and God is to be found within our embodied lives.

There are two powerful messages that we can hear through this truth. Firstly, we can rest in the knowledge that God truly is with us – not just in a once off moment in history, but in every moment and every situation. Secondly, we can offer our bodies, our energy, our lives to God as God’s Temple – the place where God Spirit dwells. And then, as we experience God’s abiding presence within us, we become “little incarnations” – people who “carry” God within our flesh and our lives. This means that, as we seek to love and serve others as Jesus did, we also become little “Emmanuels” through whom others encounter God’s living presence.

This week we explore what it means to live in the presence of God and to share that presence with others.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.