Ministers Christmas Message
Imagine the situation…… A nation divided between the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’…. conflict ever present in society over different views about sovereignty…… a general distrust of foreigners…. people unsettled, angered, frustrated….. economically, things not going well…… a lack of trust in national leaders…a sense of hopelessness for the future……. a nation at odds with itself.…..and in the background, the threat of terrorism always lurking.
This is, of course, a description of the world of the people of Israel 2,000 years ago. And it was into this situation that God decided to intervene. The incarnation was God’s self-revelation to people who had lost all sense of contact with him. God wanted to show his people that he was there all the time. God wanted to give them hope in their hopelessness, and direction for a rudderless society.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about the coming of Jesus was its timing. This was not a triumphal entry during the good times, taking advantage of the high spots, tapping into the ‘feel good’ factor, cashing in on an optimistic wave. Things were not going well, and at this point God appeared. When the people were in the depths, God was made known. Yet the truth is, the world has continually lurched from one crisis to another. And if we’re honest, the description of the society of Jesus’ time is very similar to our own. So why then, and not now?
But even to ask that question makes an assumption: that God in Christ appeared at that point in history, then left again. The truth is that this one intervention in time is a ‘forever’ moment. God was made known in Jesus, and continues to be known in and through Jesus. God, who brought hope and joy, and peace and love into our world, is with us today, in all the disappointments, anguish and bitterness that we see around us.
The light of the world, coming to illuminate the darkness, restoring our relationship with God, is something to celebrate - but not as a matter of history, a thing of the past. It is a message of today. That’s why the Christmas Story needs to be told, and re-told. Our world needs to hear good news in all the gloom of our society.
Come and join us this Christmas. Be part of the Live Nativity, the Carol Services, the Christingle, or whatever. But be reminded that God incarnate is a message for now, and give thanks! I hope you find life, light, joy and peace this Christmas time to overpower the darkness.