Our Curate Writes.
The growing darkness of the nights drawing in allows for more time to look up at the stars and the wonder of the universe. One of the Psalms uses this idea to ask God a question:
‘When I look up at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
At the moon and the stars you have set in place,
What is a frail mortal, that you should be mindful of him,
A human being, that you should take notice of him?’ [Ps 8:3,4]
How much more meaningful that question is today. Think of our appreciation of the cosmos: its staggering size and complexity. What are frail mortals, that God should be mindful of them, human beings, that God should take notice of them?
If questions about our origin and our place in the order of things are larger than ever, so too is our enquiry about human destiny. Where’s it all heading? Suppose then, for one moment we could glimpse through a crack in the impenetrable veil of the unknown, to see whatever/whoever it is that controls our origin and our destiny. What would that vision do to us?
This is amazingly what Christmas enables us to do. In Jesus, we are offered God on the only terms we could understand. God in our own language. Incarnation. It began with a baby in the arms of His mother. Sensationally surprising. The origin of the universe and its destiny – now in human form… for our sake. It’s the last thing we would have expected, so it’s easily missed. But here and now you and I are invited to kneel in wonder and worship, with Mary and Joseph and shepherds.
The story continued, of course. As the baby grew up, the Creator of the Cosmos placed Himself at the service of humanity, as Jesus the teacher and healer. Then it all went grim. He suffered persecution, prosecution, crucifixion. But it was still all part of God’s plan to redeem His wayward human creation. Finally, as the Christian creed puts it, ‘On the third day He rose again…He will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.’
This child is our glimpse of the beginning and the end. He is God stooping to meet us, in the lowliest of guises. That is a thought truly worthy of this season we finds ourselves celebrating. May I wish you all a holy and happy Christmas.