They shall know that I am YHWH their God,
           who brought them out of the land of Egypt
           that I might dwell among them;
           I am the Holy One their God.
                           —Exodus 29.46

           “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
           and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
           which means, “God is with us.”

                           —Matthew 1.23

We like to say Jesus “came down from heaven”
to show us how much God cares.
But Jesus did not “come from away.”
God doesn’t live in heaven.
Ever since the Exodus God has lived among God’s people.
Christ’s advent is not so much an arrival as an emergence,
the divine glory hidden in our midst suddenly visible,
our unity in love exposed by one who is one with us,
God’s compassion secreted away in our hearts
breaking out into the open.
This is the revelation that comes to us so often late,
after the dusty journey, on our way out of the hospital,
on the other side of the treacherous bridge,
at the victory party and yes, the funeral:
that God was with us all along.
This is not news; yet we are just now opening our eyes.
The Beloved is always drawing near
and we are always, always waking up.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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