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Who do you want to be now?

Children taking part in the live Nativity Scene during Christmas Fun at the Woods.

“I want to be God!”

This was reported in the aftermath of “Christmas Fun at the Woods,” when all those who volunteered to help at this annual event offered their thoughts about the success of the event.

The “live” Nativity Scene has become one of the signature activities of “Christmas Fun at the Woods.” Here folks – young AND old – can “dress up” as one of the characters of the Nativity Scene and, of course, be photographed.

This little one did not favor being one of the regular offerings – Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, a king, a donkey, a cow or a camel. How about a star? This little girl wanted to be God.

As we move now from our displays of the Advent wreath to that of the Nativity Scene, I find myself wanting to insert myself into the that scene. Who do I want to be?

In the life of my own family, we often had family plays during our Christmas Eve celebration – enactments of that story about a baby lying in a manger because there was no room in the Inn. As the oldest, and typically the organizer of the drama, I almost always was the narrator.

Who do I want to be now?

The events of our world that have colored my Advent journey lead me to ask, “How can I be the Innkeeper this Christmas and into the coming New Year?”

I would like to offer hospitality to those seeking asylum in our country. I would like to provide shelter for the innocent in war-torn places and in the violent places in our own U.S. cities. I would like to be a better keeper of the planet.

These seem impossible roles for me most days. I know I’m not God.

But because I know that God is Love, I also know that I can be God’s Providence – right here, right now. I can be the Christ light and bring Love to our world in all the ways that do and will present themselves to me.

Who do you want to be? Let’s remember the little one’s request. Let’s so be Love that everyone will see God in us.

Merry Christmas!

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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski was elected General Superior of the Sisters of Providence in 2016. She has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. Previously she ministered as a teacher, as communication and development director for the sisters and their ministries and as a member of elected leadership on the general council of the Sisters of Providence.

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2 Comments

  1. Mary Carroll Blocher on December 24, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Beautiful message. Sometimes I feel like that child. I want to be God and fix our political scene. I want kindness and generosity instead of hate and division. I want immigrants and refugees to be welcomed. I want guns banned and environmental responsibility embraced. So I’ll do my small part to make Love and Providence prosper.

  2. Paula Modaff, S.P. on December 25, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    How encouraging it is to know that we can do something–right here, right now–when we remain aware of who we are and who everyone else is at our essence. Thanks, Dawn.

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