Last night my family put up our Christmas tree. It was nice; music, a nice fire, good relationship, but my mother was missing. She was in a nursing home, not knowing the season or what day it is. It was the first Thanksgiving in many, many years that I did not interact with her in some way. If she makes it to Christmas, it will be a Christmas without her as well.
So amidst the hope and joy of Christmas, these thoughts served a backdrop for an element of sadness with every Christmas song played. There were memories of her in that very room, under these same circumstance, helping us put up the Christmas tree. Now I think of a helpless old woman sleeping the moments of her life away.
But, the Christ child came as a child of Hope. He came to be Emanuel: God is with us. God is with her in her sleep. God will take her to an even greater celebration in His own good time. There will be the warm fire of the Love of God, the singing of angels, and the presence of the Risen Lord now and evermore. Emanuel: God will be with her.
And, Emanuel: God is with us, during this Christmas season to hold our hands, as we face this Christmas without her. Praise God, Emanuel.