Have you ever noticed how the Christmas story is all about visits? In fact, there would be no Christmas without a series of important drop-ins. Consider the events of the Birth of Christ and what each visit represented.
To get things going, the Angel Gabriel pays a call to Mary, the Virgin, to make an announcement—she would bear the Savior. Mary, carrying the child, visits her cousin Elizabeth, also with child, to share her good news. The angel later visits Joseph, the perplexed fiancé, for the purpose of reassurance. Then the Heavenly Host appears to the shepherds in the fields for the purpose of proclamation. The good news was that God had visited the earth in the form of a child, the Messiah, to bring grace, and love and good cheer. The shepherds quickly made a visit to Bethlehem just to see if everything was all right. Later the wise men made a very long trek to the Holy Family, paying their respects and dropping off gifts. Finally, much later in the story, several women come to the tomb of Jesus to discover it is empty. Their visits give them a perspective of new life as people of the resurrection.
Think about those marvelous visits that are part of the Christmas Season. Also consider how each of us can become a part of that good news through our own efforts to care and make a visit to another person.
Let us take a lesson from the Gospels and understand that visiting others is the greatest gift that can be given for so many reasons. Just as in our story, the purposes of visits are many. The intent may be to make an announcement, to share good news, to reassure, to proclaim, to bring love and cheer, to see if everything is all right, or even to bring a gift.
Availing ourselves to others in gifts of time and concern is a sacrament. The care represented in a visit reflects the concern of God for all humanity. Finally, remember that the one visited is not the only one who is blessed. Just as the women at the empty tomb experienced resurrection, making time for others is an opportunity for rebirth of the spirit.
Take some time, now that the heaviest press of the holiday is past, and remember how the Christ Child visited earth and understand that a few minutes spent with others allows us to participate in the Christmas miracle.
The Rev. David Meyers
1200 Post Dr., Belmont, MI 49306