Our Advent Devotion for Thursday, December 9, comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 NIV
“It is not enough to try to imitate Christ as much as possible; it is not enough
to remind others of Jesus; it is not even enough to be inspired by the words
and actions of Jesus Christ. No, the spiritual life presents us with a far more
radical demand: to be living Christs here and now, in time and history”
The Selfless Way, page 20 by Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Born In Us”
As sure as Jesus is born of Mary and laid in a manger, he is born in us too and laid in the manger of our hearts. Christmas is a great celebration and a powerful reminder of the fact that Jesus is born continually in each of us – not so we may keep Jesus to ourselves, but so we may share him with the world like Mary did. St. Paul truly believed that Christ lived in him – born in him daily, shared with the world. If Christ is born in us, if Christ lives in us, then we live as Christ – animated by his Spirit, bearing witness to his truth. In this way Christ is still present in this world – healing, teaching and accompanying saints and sinners alike.
If Christ lives in us, can we actually imagine ourselves walking around in God’s world as incarnations of the risen Christ? If we can, what does it mean to carry God’s unconditional loving presence to those around us. What does it mean to follow the most important commandment to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves?
Come, Christ Jesus, be born in me this Christmas so I may share you with the world. Amen.
Henri J.M. Nouwen