It is back to reality after a lovely Christmas and New Year break. After reading the Scripture from 1 John 2:22, “Beloved: Who is the liar?” I read a story about a man called Emmanuel, God with us, who set out on a journey to find out what language God spoke. Everywhere he went he inquired and was told the same thing, God speaks our local language. Eventually he finds himself in Bethlehem and Mary greets him, “Welcome, Emmanuel, you are very welcome. I know you have traveled far to learn the language that God speaks. Your travels are over. God speaks the language of love, of welcome to the stranger. In every place, it is always understood.”Emmanuel was overjoyed to hear Mary’s words. The words rang true in his heart.
Truly God is with us today! In those who learn God’s language of love-the welcome and oneness with those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, imprisoned, embittered, exiled, unwelcome. As the Beloved Disciple, John, says to his community and to me this day, we are either the disciples who have painstakingly learned the language of love, love unto death for all peoples, or we lie and do not dwell with God, who truly dwells most clearly with those who most need love and welcome. Each of us, like John the Baptist, are not worthy to stoop and untie God’s sandal strap, but we, because of love are worthy and called to stoop and to welcome and love those in need. We are able to love and welcome those whose path we cross this day. The whole world awaits us, our love, the BELOVED children of God, to come.