When we see a nativity scene, we think of Jesus born in a stable. For many, that is where he remains and he’s remembered in the same way next year and then again the year after.
Yet, the story does not end there.
No, Christmas is about almighty God, creator, becoming part of that very creation.
Why does that make a difference, we might ask? Because God does not sit in heaven telling us what to do – ‘try harder,’ ‘pull yourself together’ – ‘just get on with it.’ Instead, he came down among us in the person of Jesus, and experienced everything that we experience – the joys and frustrations of growing up, the loneliness of abandonment and even the agony of death.
We have a God who comes and experiences the difficulties we go through. He knows the agony and the hurt that we experience.
Even the person who is nearing the end of life is assured that God has already travelled that journey and made a new way beyond death into God’s eternal love.
While he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, Jesus came that we might have life.
Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to share in the life of God himself.
As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts, may we give thanks to God for his goodness, and let us joyfully proclaim the good news that God offers which is the freedom from whatever weighs us down.
He gives us hope – he brings us peace.
Do not lose sight of the word ‘Christ’ in Christmas.
May God grant you a peaceful and joyful time.
Canon Stephen Bradberry