Love and belonging. These are innate desires each of us have. The villain is shame, the fear of being rejected. Empathy then is the hero, who defeats shame through vulnerability.
Empathy allows us to meet someone where they are. We open ourselves up to feel what the other person feels, seeing the world through their eyes.
Christmas, for the Christian is about connection through divine empathy. God opened himself up so fully that he became man to meet us where we are, to feel what we felt, to see with his own eyes our suffering and shame.
Immanuel is Hebrew for “God is with us”. A symbolic name for Jesus because of his promise that He will never leave us. We will always belong to him.
This is what I celebrate today, and its truth is the fountain from which I draw purpose and strength.