And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Et Le Verbe s'est fait chair, il a habité parmi nous. John 1:14
This is what we celebrate at Christmas. The Word, Gods word, becoming flesh. His words are of a parent, of a Creator, of Love. At Christmas we celebrate that he spoke his word of love so powerfully that it actually took on the form of another person, the person of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us! Dieu avec nous!
Depuis septembre j'ai été étudier français. This was not merely an academic pursuit. When you learn a language you don't learn only another form of communication but you learn how to speak with other people. In other words, you build a bridge that connects you more closely to the other.
This is why it is so significant that God spoke the word to us, he communicated himself to us, and God speaks all languages perfectly. God is the ultimate communicator. And he doesn't speak simply with mere words, but with his entire self, most especially with his heart!
We all speak a unique language , and I'm not talking English or French or German , but we all listen and communicate in a unique way. For example, friends of mine travelled to Africa to visit their daughter who became a doctor and desired to travel and aid those who have not the recourse to regular medical help. They arrived at the airport and jumped in a taxi, eager to meet their destination. It was a quiet ride and so, deciding to make small talk with the driver, they begun with a topic that all prairie folk would: so hows the weather? They were met with an icy glance and an enduring silence that lasted the remainder of their cab ride. Were they impolite? Did they use the wrong words? Nope. You see, weather, in much of Africa, does not change. It's hot, dry, and very similar from day to day. Extremely unlike Canada, there are very little fluctuations and so conversations about the weather are very dull and sterile. Hot yesterday, still hot today, that's all. It had nothing to do with a lack of linguistics, but rather a lack of understanding of a culture, of a people. In Canada, weather is livelihood, is money. Conversations about weather are conversations about the very well being of the family of the other. In other places, not so at all. One would do better speaking of kids or food or sports!
This why, even when we can speak fluently the same language as the other, there can arise misunderstandings, hurt feelings, verbal fights, anger, unforgiveness, and all those wonderful things that can happen when families get together for Christmas haha. Because communication is so much more than the stringing together of words in order to create coherent sentences, but it is an expression of oneself, an opening up of our hearts and minds devant l'autre, making oneself vulnerable and then opening up our oreilles to recevoir les mots la coeur, the mind, and the very being of the other!
We know very well and we celebrate every year that God's greatest gift to us was himself. It is necessary though every year to remind ourselves of that and ask, are we listening? Est-ce que nous écoutons? Similarily the greatest gift we can give to each other, besides chocolate and Star Wars toys, is the gift of ourselves. This Christmas let us give to others the love of God that is inside us, and let us listen to others, not merely with our ears, but with our hearts!
Joyeux Noel! Et que Dieu vous benisse!