google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Christmas 2019 17. People - Jesus

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Christmas 2019 17. Jesus, Downsizing in Love

 

Merry Christmas to you, where ever you are in the world! Christmas: that great global Christmas festival celebration. God wasn't born to Mary but the baby born to Mary was God! WOW!

 

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1-7

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:1-18

Happy Christmas Day! Today we have arrived and, hopefully, are giving some thought to the spiritual meaning of this celebration. This is Christ’s Mass. It’s about God sending ‘his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.’ Those words are found in 1 John 4:9, and are closely followed in verse 14 by these words, ‘The Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.’ Christmas is about incarnation.

Earlier in Advent I was thinking about the idea of the Creator of the universe becoming part of his own creation. It seemed to me to be the ultimate in ‘downsizing’. That’s a word people use when they sell their house and buy a smaller one to live in, for whatever reason. However strong one’s imagination in envisaging possible examples of downsizing, there is nothing greater than that of God becoming a human being, of leaving heaven to live on earth. And to be born in a stable, what’s more, not in a fine palace with all the trimmings of royalty. And this for the greatest of all reasons; to save humanity from its self-destroying lifestyle and to bring us back into a loving relationship with God, for now and forever. As I dwelt on these thoughts some verses began to form in my mind.

Downsizing! That’s the word we want
to tell what we’ve been through,
giving up our Knightsbridge pad
for a flat in Waterloo,
where the folk in cardboard boxes
are our neighbours in dire need;
we’ve come to show them the love of Christ,
not just in word, but deed!

He showed us how it should be done
when he came from heaven to earth;
downsizing in a massive way
to arrive through human birth.
The Son of God made just like us;
They call it ‘incarnation’,
God’s love at work in a human frame -
the Christmas celebration!

That first verse, by the way, is not a description of what has happened to me. It is an imaginary scenario that reflects what a number have people have done in responding to Christ’s love and the needs of people they encounter in life on Earth. Some have quite literally sold up and moved among the people they feel called to serve. Some have gone to other parts of the world in order to share the love of Christ, sinking their whole lives into the endeavour. No doubt, you can think of some current examples.

Christmas Day can be a lovely experience for most of us, as we come together as families and friends to enjoy good food and fun, and as we share Christmas greeting and presents. For others, it can be a very difficult day and it would be good for us to think of them prayerfully and to pray for those who devote their Christmas Day to cater for the needs of the less privileged members of our communities. They are, as my verses suggested, incarnating the love of God and the Lord Jesus.

That is all for today! Come back tomorrow to see more in our Christmas series 2019, looking at Jesus Christ, the promised one of God.

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