Dear Parish Family,
“This will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
Why a baby? Doing it that way it took 30 years to begin to get to the message out and 3 years of ministry to arrive at the Cross. Why did God make the Gospel of Salvation known to us by way of an Incarnation?
Have you ever noticed it is hard not to smile back at a baby? How hard it is not to want to comfort a crying baby? When a child reaches out to you, you must struggle not to reach out yourself? Jesus came as a baby for that very reason. We, like a baby cannot fully express what is wrong. Why we feel the need to be comforted, held, and nourished. We just cry out. What is God’s response to His child (children)? God reaches out with the desire to bring joy. The desire to bring healing. The desire to reach out in love and lift us up. So why come as a helpless dependent baby but to demonstrate the love of God.
We have the potential to love. We have the ability to care and show compassion. We have the potential to bring comfort and healing. We can show the non-judgemental love of God even in the worst times of disaster both natural and man made. So why do we see and do it so rarely? St. Paul struggled with this very question in Romans 7. So, what was his answer? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the words of the Birth Narratives, “Immanuel, God with us” (Matt.1:23). Without the indwelling of Christ, we cannot live up to the Divine potential. Through the Divine grace of God the Father, we have been shown how to live graciously and compassionately in this world. By faith, God “with us,” in us, and empowering us to hear, see, live and proclaim a love made known in all the totality of human experience – birth, life and death.
So, what should be our response to such a gift of Divine love? When you see joy, celebrate it! When you see hardship, help! When you see grace, know that the Kingdom of God has come near!
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you:” Luke 2:10f
God grace and peace be with you all.
The Reverend Canon David Warren