Where to start! How to start! What a year! What an Advent and build up to Christmas! What was supposed to be happening a couple of days ago, isn’t now! Plans changed? Ruined? So much upheaval! So much uncertainty and unknown! So much beginning again! And then [Memories of Christmases past rise up again!
Back to the drawing board. Back to what matters! Back to what’s important! Back to the very beginning! So, what was that beginning? What are we actually celebrating? Where has that fitted in before now? Will that be different this year?
On your way to Bethlehem. But with nothing booked! Knowing no one! Another surprise! It’s started. It’s happening now the time to give birth has arrived. In a shed! If that wasn’t enough to deal with. These Strangers arrive with sheep and burst in. They don’t know what they’re looking for! All they say is that they’ve seen a vision of angels singing ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ declaring that something wonderful has happened and that they had to go and find out what it was. Then later on, 3 strange sophisticated and impressive-looking men also show up. They’ve been studying and been intrigued by signs and predictions and now a seeming significant Star in the night sky. So they had to find out what did this mean and drop everything and just follow this mysterious guiding light! Something, someone was about to enter into the universe and to bring about a new world, a new way of living, being human! The Star took them to this Shed, to this new born baby.
You’ve heard it all before described in so many different ways! Through many different lenses! But not so much this year because of the need for social distancing.
What is it that still grabs you? Still touches you where it matters most, where meaning is found?
The ”The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” Jn1:
What does this mean to you? The Birth of the Son of God as a human being into our World.
Today is the day when light conquers darkness! Love conquers hate! God comes crashing into our lives and we can’t ignore him any longer! Today is the day he comes to rescue the ‘forsaken,’ the ‘abandoned’. Today is the day when darkness is blasted out of existence because the The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and True Love is revealed!
It reveals to us something new, something wonderful, something that inspires awe and yet so simple, Something that confuses our human minds and human way of thinking! So much so that no matter how often we hear this story, we still don’t quite get, we still don’t quite believe it! We don’t quite understand it! We don’t really want to believe it! And what is that “it”? That our God came down upon this earth as a tiny, vulnerable, poor, insignificant and homeless baby and his mother gave birth to him away from her people, away from her support, away from safety, born with animals watching on! As the The Word was made flesh
Our Gospel this Christmas Day morning, The Prologue of John stops us from succeeding in trying to box this mystery as a children’s only story. Something safe, a simple sentimental fairytale, which cannot challenge, cannot unlock [melt] hearts cold as ice, and the all too real hard heartedness of so many! A place that won’t challenge our intelligence, challenge a people who are mature and technically and scientifically minded and literate. But that will never succeed! Nor should we ever allow it to! Because, Love, Real love, blows all of that into smithereens, because when someone shows they care about you, holds you in their arms when you are at your lowest ebb, your most frightened, your most vulnerable,
God is breaking in and through that very moment. That’s what happened over 2,000 years ago.
So on this blessed morn let us celebrate in joy, celebrate in song lifting the roof up into the sky where the angels are singing Gloria! Gloria!
Jesus Christ is born today for you, for me, for the world. The light has come and that Light can never be conquered or destroyed!
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us
God bless you all! God keep you safe! May the Lord protect and shelter you all! May the Lord show you his Love this Christmastide and may you truly feel that love and never doubt it. May you always feel the presence of the Christ Child in your life no matter what the future holds and the year ahead brings. On behalf of all of us on the Parish Team have a safe and Blessed Christmas!
We continue to pray for all who are sick, for our NHS and all our health workers and carers and for all who have died at this time from the Corona Virus and other. illnesses May they rest in peace.
May God bless you all, keep you safe and in good health and protect all those nearest and dearest to you! God bless and take care!