13. Jesus was born. He was wrapped up, and placed in the animal’s hay to sleep.
Modernity had ruined contentment. There seems nothing that is more abhorrent today than being comfortable. Change has become the ideological drive of the day, everything must renew or be cast aside because it seems to be comfortable whilst being contented is all but sinful and decay.
Where though on earth can the wholeness and holiness of a child settled and sleeping lead?
“Don’t disturb the baby” a couple receiving guests will say,”they took ages to settle!” From comfort and calmness a child grows naturally. I believe, I hope the part of Jesus development was in love and stability generated from Mary and Joseph.
10. It was a long and difficult journey, especially for Mary whose tummy was getting very big because the baby was nearly ready to be born.
There is a strange encumbrance, a draw back to being heavily pregnant; how you move, what you can eat it or drink. What a time for Mary to take a long journey? There must have been great expectation, in the simple birth of a first child and this promise of Emmanuel.
Advent can be a time of preparation as we move toward the birth of the Christ-child. We may grow wise in the encumbrances or draw backs in our own spirituality in this ‘long and difficult journey’ we call life.
What burden do we gift to Jesus that he would carry for us?
Saturday 24 December
The baby was wrapped in bands of cloth an placed in a manger.
This is, of course, the same person whose body would be wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in the tomb.
As a baby and as the adult servant King helpless and dependent on others. Giving up himself to the wills of humanity. God still comes to us, emptying himself so that we might meet him.
Can we ever be as vulnerable as him?
Can we open ourselves to the will and love and life of God as he meets us this Christmas?
Almighty God, who has power beyond all that we can comprehend, you meet us in the form of a tiny baby and broken body. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to put aside all pride and so to be ready to welcome you as Mary did with open arms. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Stories, Thought for the day
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Friday 22 December
The baby Jesus was placed in a manger. Not the picturesque mangers we see in nativity plays, but an animals’ feeding trough.
Meals were an important part of Jesus’ life, he shared meals with those people that we would probably not want invite into our homes if we knew them today.
And then Jesus became a meal. Body and blood given for you. Given to all those who come to him.
None of us deserve it and none can earn it. We can only take what Christ offers and remember that as we eat his holy meal we are elevated into his kingship and brought down into the manger of that first Christmas.
This Christmas as we encounter Christ coming, let us say, “For what we about to receive make us truly thankful. Amen.”
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Thursday 21 December
The letter to Titus says, “The goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared….” We will hear about the ‘Word becoming flesh’ but let us look with new eyes that regard the significance afresh. See that the ‘Word’ was the ‘goodness and loving-kindness of God’
This extended description was contain in the Christ-child, grew into the man who was to prove this ‘goodness and loving-kindness’ even to the cross, and sealed in his resurrection.
How are we to react to this trait of God found in Jesus. Coo at the baby in a manger and forget his presence on Boxing Day? Perhaps we are invited to find out a little more and work and pray daily to be a part of that ‘goodness and loving-kindness.’
Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love, where there is injury, your pardon Lord and where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace, where there’s despair in life let me bring hope, where there is darkness, only light and where there’s sadness ever joy. Oh, master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console to be understood as to understand. Amen
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Wednesday 21 December
How stories fire the imagination. Old classics be they fairy tales or myths from legend. Expressions of humanity that underline significant desires to recognise the good, the potential and positives of life and our desire for them to be ‘right’.
A fine story sets the scene, sets down markers for us to equate ourselves alongside. Place, people and character information give us a sense of the narrative and make the whole tale personal to us.
When you look at Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth all these elements are laid out for us. The incarnation needs a place, a cast of characters and some background.
We all know the traditional birth narrative. It is close to our hearts in its simplicity, but its familiarity may hide the stark and most important facts.
Looking with new eyes – within eternity God chose to place Jesus in a small town in Israel at a particular point in that country’s history. He was born to a specific mother in an unconventional family for the time. This birth was not heralded in a royal court, but in some dark, similarly insignificant countryside.
If there, if then, if……then why not to me, here in my unworthy circumstance.
That is the amazing point of the incarnation, it speaks of new possibilities.
As I read or hear the Christmas story anew, may I see, my I know the desire of God to be a part of my existence and the lives of those among whom I move. God of entity you are ultimately the God of an infinite number of moments in time when you break into the human state. In Jesus, in me and in my neighbour. Grant me grace to live as part of your story. Amen
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