Christmas message: We are known
By REV. DARCY VAUGHAN
ARE you on Facebook? It has become a global phenomenon, hasn’t it? And it is intriguing to consider: Why do we post our thoughts on Facebook? Why do we take a photo of what we are doing, or even what we are eating, and feel the need to share it?
I think that the desire behind these things is a good one. It is the desire to be known.
And perhaps, less healthy, the fear of being forgotten.
I recently closed my Facebook account. And it is a scary thing to do. If I erase myself from the internet, will I be forgotten in real life? If I stop posting photos and words that tell people who I am, will people still know me?
Or perhaps if you have never had a Facebook account, you also feel a bit like this.
Like the online world has rushed past you, and you have been left behind. Like you can no longer know or be known, because you are not on the internet!
Websites like Facebook tap into a longing right down in the essence of who we are: We each have this longing to be known. At the very core of what it means to be human is this desire: to be known.
We often feel this most strongly in our families. They are the people who are supposed to know us the best. And so, they’re the ones who upset us the most when we feel that, in fact, they don’t know us.
To be truly known by a loved one. There are few things better. But to long to be known by a loved one and to be disappointed.
There are few things in life that hurt so much as this.
Or we might grieve the passing of a loved one, who we felt, knew us better than we knew ourselves.
This is why the first words of Psalm 139 are so assuring: “You, O Lord, have searched me, and you know me.”
Though we may feel lost, unknown, uncertain of our place. These words remind us, we are always held in the loving care and knowledge of our Lord.
Of course, this is the miraculous message, not only of Psalm 139, but of Christmas.
In fact, in the midst of all the silliness of this season, it is this which is the whole point!
That God came into the world, became flesh and made his dwelling among us, because he knows us, and he loves us. Because of Jesus, God knows us not from any distance, but having shared with us.
So as we approach this Christmas, in the midst of the challenges it can sometimes bring, may we also remember that we are known, and loved, by God.
A very merry Christmas and a wonderful beginning to the new year.
* The Rev, Darcy Vaughan is rector of the Anglican Parish of Inglewood