|Although our celebrations this year, both at home and in Church, will not be what we are used to, nor will they be what we would
wish, but we will still celebrate Christmas. We will in the midst of the global pandemic, celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem
2000 years ago.
Our circumstances may have changed in 2020, but the message of Christmas has not. At the heart of the Christmas story is the
humility of God.
One of the earliest Christian hymns was written before AD 60, less than 30 years after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.
It is quoted by St Paul in a letter written from prison in Rome to the Church in the city of Philippi. The hymn begins in this way, it
speaks of Christ who
“… was in the form of God,
but He did not cling to equality with God.
He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant,
and was born in our human likeness…”
In Jesus God meets us without the anger or threat with which so many religions portray Him. In Jesus God comes to us as a
child, born in poverty. No room was found for Him at His birth, and before His second birthday, He was being hunted by men of
power and violence.
At Christmas we remember that God came to us in our flesh and blood. He came as our Saviour to bring the hope of God’s
eternal kingdom. He came not just to speak of the love of God, but to demonstrate it, sharing the love and joy, the pain and
sorrow of our life. In Jesus God became a mortal human so that in and through Him we could become divine.
Christmas tells us that even in lockdown, even separated from those we love, we are not and never will be alone. Christmas tells
us that God in Christ is with us and for us. He comes to us, not just as the World’s Saviour, but as our Saviour - yours and mine.
He comes to heal, not just humanity, but to bring healing to you and to me. In Christ our sins, our brokenness and our flaws are
redeemed and healed. In Jesus we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we are adopted as God’s children.
However we celebrate Christmas in 2020, we can know that nothing in all creation - not even a global pandemic - can separate
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. In Christ God has reached out to us, bridging the gulf that lies between us, so that the
ancient prophecy of Immanuel, God-with-us, may be fulfilled.
May Christ who was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago be born again in our hearts this Christmas. Amen
|Thought for the Month