Today all of Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus in a manager in Bethlehem.

What does it mean for us?

Theologians have written volumes on the meaning of Christmas.

One such theologian was Symeon the New Theologian (949‒1022), a Byzantine Christian monk and mystic revered to this day by Eastern Christians. Symeon believed humans had the capacity to experience God’s presence directly. He visualized this union happening within the “force field” of the Body of Christ. This cosmic embodiment is created both by God’s grace and our response.

Symeon’s “Hymn 15” from his collected Hymns of Divine Love beautifully calls each of into union with Christ, To fulfill the words of St. Paul  who wrote “To them God has chosen to make known … the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you” (Colossisns 1:27)

We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous?—Then
open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
we awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

It is the desire of the staff and volunteers of the Chaplaincy to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Jesus among those experiencing homelessness. It is our prayer that all God’s children experience the joy of being the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Jesus.