Sunday, December 19, 2010

Emmanuel: Why Christmas is a big deal for single people

On my last blog, Contemplative in the City, I wrote at length about the cross that is present in the lives of single young adults: the cross of loneliness.

Whether you are searching for a spouse, still discerning your vocation, or just plain not sure what direction you are headed, the experience of loneliness is a daily reality for us singles. The challenge is to figure out how the Lord wants to bring fruit out of your solitude; and bring peace in and through this cross.

A week or two ago when I was driving home from work and thinking about the Advent season, I suddenly had a very convicting realization.

Emmanuel means God is with us. He came down from heaven to be one of us. To live amongst us and to love us. His identity as Emmanuel didn't end with the Ascension. He said to His apostles as He says to us, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20).

If we really, truly, believe this, our lives could be radically transformed. We are not alone. He has come to love us with the only love that will truly fulfill us. He wants to walk beside us, to come into our hearts and to live in union with Him.

Certainly, as human persons who are communal beings, we will always desire the friendship and love of other human persons. This is a good and holy desire. But these seasons, or in some peoples' cases, lifetimes of loneliness allow us to recognize that greater hunger more clearer; beckoning us to draw ever closer to the Lover of our souls.

If we take this to heart, that Emmanuel is coming, and truly internalize it, we will see that this Good News indeed.

He comes to each of us, the only answer to our fundamental loneliness. As singles, we have the opportunity to sense this ever more acutely.

So in this last week of Advent when we say "O come, O come Emmanuel", think about what Emmanuel really means, and how the Good News of Christmas has the power to transform your life. Come to the manger with your big dreams, your dashed hopes, your daily trials, your echoing heart.

Let us prepare Him room.

No comments:

Post a Comment