Christmas Message


By Mark Regis, Priest-in-Charge

Posted on December 24, 2018

…the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:6-7)
 
Mandated by an occupying government to pay a foreign tax, travelling on foot for days across a dangerous country, with little hope or money, a Palestinian-Jewish couple entered into an ancestral town without enough hospitality to embrace even a woman in labour. In these exact conditions, God entered quietly, vulnerably and resolutely into our world; a world in deep distress, bent by violence, injustice, and pride – a world God loved and loves completely.
 
The writer C. S. Lewis often quoted, “God had to sneak clandestinely behind enemy lines.”
 
Although God’s entry could have taken the form of awesome power and might, he chose not to. He could have come in widespread splendour and fantastic glory, but he did not. He could have come in elevated dignified sophistication, but he knew not to. No, in his greatness, Jesus Christ came to lovingly and resolutely undermine every power that has ever been leveraged for selfish and destructive ends. He came in utter purity and goodness, without any hint of preferment or pride. He came as the one true Son of God, completely human, and completely divine.
 
Making the human story, his story, God who created the heavens and the earth experienced first-hand the dangers of life as a refugee, life at the recesses of the socioeconomic scale and life under foreign occupation. He was tested and tempted by evil, rejected by his own people, and ultimately suffered the abuse of violence and death. There was not one trial or temptation that he did not experience, and through his precious life, he took onto himself all that was dark and hopeless in our world.
 
The odds were completely stacked in every conceivable way against this baby, born in a livestock stable and placed in a feed trough as his first cradle. But yet… on the eve of his birth, angles shattered through a heavenly veil and sang triumphantly and joyously to unsuspecting shepherds;
 
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14)
 
God had to sneak clandestinely behind enemy lines. He has identified with us completely and given us an enduring hope through this miraculous baby.
 
May your Christmas be enriched by the clandestine presence and saving love of Jesus.