Grace and peace
I am so grateful to Bishop Monument and Vanda who are conducting the Christmas service, I realise that this will be a very different and for some a very lonely Christmas and so I pray that it will be a godly Christmas as we seek Christ even in the struggles of our lives.
As we continue to journey towards Bethlehem and our interaction with the Christ-child, I am again reminded of just how much God loves us that He would endure all this for our sake.
I am always astounded by how God enters our broken space, where there is no room, no comfort, and no easy way. God seems to always do things in a way that we (I) would not. Perhaps that is why the virgin birth and the Christmas story makes no sense to some people and thus is reduced to sleighbells and Christmas cheer. The thought of God becoming vulnerable to His creation is a lot to swallow, and yet from the beginning God was the great risk taker. From the beginning, God chose to share His divinity with humankind and made us co-creators and co-carers of the earth. God has risked it all on us and for us and thus our actions are of extreme importance. However, as the Christmas story tells us God can overcome every single one of our weaknesses and inadequacies. While we have a role to play in this world, it is God who has the power. When we use our power in the relationship to do our own thing, we bring trouble upon us. But when we submit to God’s power and a willingness to serve, then the Kingdom of God is near to us. Consider Mary, a virgin, who by God’s power conceives and becomes the carrier of the Christ. And the Inn Keeper who offered the only room he had, in humility, and Christ is born. Remember that even as a babe in a manger it is Christ who is King, who is the one that we must bow down to as the Magi did. We ask God for the power of the Holy Spirit so that by that power we will have the strength to give ourselves to God, so that we with St Mary can say “let it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Love and Peace
Rector—Fr. Andrew Manning—Christmas 2020