Friday, December 22, 2006

And was made flesh

There are many readings which are used over the Christmas services; a selection of some is below:
Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96-98; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-8; Hebrews 1:1-4; Luke 2; John 1:1-14

Christmas greetings to all!
Christmas bears so many themes about God that it is almost difficult to make head or tail of it.
Theologically we say Christmas is the festival of the incarnation.
This is not a word that we use very much,
it means that Christ was made FLESH
(the CARN part of the word is linked to other words we use a bit more like carnivore-flesh eating, or carnal-the fleshly appetites of the body)
It is inviting us to say more than the fact
that the great God of heaven came down to earth in human form....
it is reminding us that this was not just a game
but it is a total identification of God
with each man and woman, in their body, soul and spirit.
God is concerned with the fleshly nature of our human existence.
This is why the songs and readings (and sermons!) remind us
of such things as love and peace, of justice and an end to oppression,
...because these are the realities of the flesh
This is what incarnation is all about.
It is easy to think that God is remote
and really unconcerned with humanity
inCARNation reminds us that this is not so.

We almost want God to be remote
we often don't want God to be concerned with the realities of our life.
If for a moment we suggest that God might be concerned that some people are poor, or that some are lonely;
that while we have peace and stability here the very place where Jesus was born is most unstable andf dangerous

The incarnation reminds us that these concerns are God's concerns and they they are to be our concerns also.

What is God saying to you about responding to the need of the poor?
Will we give even 1% of what we spend on ourselves and frivolity to the poor?
(This might be about $8-$20/family)

What is God saying to you about the lonely?
Are we so self-centred that we cannot even see a lonely person, or that we cannot be bothered to do antyhing about anyone? Try to relieve someone's loneliness this Christmas.

It is hard to address the issues of peace and war mongering, but do we stand up against those who glibly seem to promote war-mongering in our midst? Or are we so busy with our small world that the whole world seems of little concern.
Look for some way to suppoort the efforts of peace in these 12 days of Christmas, perhaps by supporting doctors, aid agencies, the UN and others as they seek to address issues which affect world peace.

The INCARNATION not only reminds us that God is concerned for our world
it invites you and me to be involved too.
As we celebrate Christmas, hear the invitation of God to us
to be incarnate, to be flesh, too.

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