24
DEC
2018

Christmas Day 2018 Reflection

Today we celebrate an amazing mystery — God is born in time. The eternal God has taken human flesh, has pitched his tent in the midst of humanity.  Jesus Christ the Lord is present here and now.

The beautiful birth narrative of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel illustrates the complete self-emptying act of God in Jesus, born amongst the poor and rejected, bringing good tidings of peace and goodwill to all.

The Christmas story is very simple: it tells of a birth, the birth of a first child to poor parents with an uncertain future. So what is it about the story that holds such appeal that has allowed so many other stories and traditions to grow up around it? Why does it have such a place in our hearts? Perhaps it has to do with the way it taps into our deepest longings, those things we desire that can help us cope with just about anything: love and trust.

There is much generous love in the story, and with it a sense of wonder that God could be so intimately involved with something so simple. Shepherds are amazed, wise men are humbled and a young woman treasures all these things in her heart.

In the midst of the love we are all invited, just like the people in the story, to trust that God is here and cares deeply as each of us deals with the joys and sorrows, the hopes and disappointments of everyday.

This story affirms that we all have a value and a unique dignity that lifts us up and empowers us to move beyond ourselves and to take the risk of reaching out to others, always trusting that God is present in the simple stuff of life.

 

“The Child”

 

Blood on a berry,

            Night of frost.

Some make merry.

            Some are lost.

 

Footsteps crack

            On a pool of ice.

Hope is back.

            This baby lies

 

Wrapped in rags,

            Is fed by a girl.

O if God begs,

            Then we all hold

 

Him in our power.

             We catch our breath.

This is the hour

                For the terrible truth,

 

Terrible, yes,

            But sweet also.

God needs us.

               Now, through snow,

 

Tomorrow through heat

    We carry him

And hear his heart

                   And bring him home.

Elizabeth Jennings, from,  Christmas Suite in Five Movements

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