Monday, December 22, 2008

Paying attention

Readings for Christmas include more reading from Isaiah, various lessons from the letter to Titus. Luke Chapter 2, John chapter 1, and many more..In our church we will focus on Isaiah 9, Titus 2 and Luke2 (see here)

There is something disarming about a baby!
If we accept the general parameter about this story
that in this event God is being made flesh.
We might ask ourselves
why did God choose to be born as a baby
and not just appear in glory,
inviting us all to bow down and worship?
Being God he could do this!
Perhaps the chief thing that we need to note is
that whilst being an extraordinary event for a family
the birth of a baby is also a very ordinary event.
And this alerts us to something about the presence of God in life.
Though, of course, being mindful of the fact that God in our lives
is the key idea that we need to address
if we are going to live our lives meaningfully,
perhaps we fail to realise
that while this is really extraordinary
.....The Word is being encountered in the flesh....
it is also ordinary.
It is not with trumpets and loud explosions
but in the midst of day to day life.
Unnoticed by most
other than those who are directly involved
Some shepherds spot the significance of a baby's birth
but the wise men take a long time getting there
and then get lost.
We are reminded in the Christmas story
that God is not hard to find
we just have to look in the right place.
So we get little insights from time to time,
like the birth of a baby
or the death of a loved person.
God is not far and remote,
but close and near.
He will be in our day to day relationships,
with our children and our friends
more so, I suspect,
than in the halls of the rich and powerful, or in the lives of the famous.
We will find that the Good News
of Immanuel
-God with us-
is more likely to be small and close,
than big and grand.
Where is God beckoning you and me today.

This forgiveness that we talk about,
will not only be about Reconciliation between black and white,
but it will be about the relationship between two brothers,
and the unconditional acceptance of friends
drawn together in love.
We will find it close
rather than far.

Sometimes we will miss it completely,
never understand that
love and hope, trust and forgiveness
are about the way we live our day to life
and not just about th high goals we set ourselves.

The baby confronts all this in us
as we encounter it.
Will you allow yourself
to encounter the small and simple
the direct and personal
and see that this is Christmas for you

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