Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Who is Christmas about?

One of the disarming things about a baby
is that it grabs our attention.
My daughter and I were sitting in a shopping centre the other day having lunch
and there next to us was a sleeping baby.
We both admired and smiled at said infant.
This is the universal experience of people
and is a reminder that Christmas
is about something other than ourselves.

We're disarmed by this baby
for a few moments.
our self-interest
and narrow focus on our own little world
is challenged.

Then we discover
that coming together in this child are two things
the eternal Word of God
and the human race.
While this concerns us
and indeed affects us
WE are not the centre of this story.

To remind us of the fact that this is God's story
in which we are caught up,
and not OUR story
in which we might deign to allow God a place
there is that focus which grabs our attention.
It is a baby.
The one thing in human life
that serves to remind me
that life does not revolve around me alone.

If we latch on to this point
if we understand that life is about God
then things will work rather differently.

Perhaps this is why we so often feel
that things are out of control.
Or why we have no purpose.
We are looking at ourselves,
when we should be focussing on God.

How might God be trying to grab your attention
at this time,
and what might God be saying... might indeed be by a baby
..or a particular concern... opportunity, or sickness....
...a challenge, a failure or a success...
Very often it will be about another person
and we're challenged to understand that there is more going on in life
Than my narrow wants or wishes
The language of Christmas
is rather of hope....
The Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counsellor,
reconciliation between enemies

the invitation is to shift the perspective from selfish wishfulness
which is almost always about me and what I want
and what God wants for me, and you.

The baby reminds us.
This is not about me.
It is at the very least about a baby,
it is in reality about what God's hope is for you and for me.

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