For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.
My prayer for you this Christmas, is that you will travel to Bethlehem and see this thing that God has done. The journey of the wise men, to see the infant child, is a journey that we all must take. A journey to come and see the Christ child in the simplicity of the coming into the world as God in human flesh, in the humility of the birth in a stable, to the song of angels and watched by shepherds. May the miracle of birth be to us an unfolding of new life for ourselves.
I long for new life. I am fervently praying that 2019 will be a year of God’s favour and that we as a parish will rise up, that we will walk on the deep waters, that we will put out our nets for a catch, that we will be intentional in our discipleship and that we will glorify God in this place.
I am very aware of the challenges that we are facing as a nation, and of the need that we have as a church to address these needs. It appears that as the church we oscillate between focus on God and focus on people. We tend to look to God and try to do what He requires ad force others to join us, or we try to focus on people and their hurts and needs and their brokenness. And we ask ourselves ” how do we hold onto God’s commandments and requirements and simultaneously serve humanity in love despite their disobedience?”
This, my brothers and sisters is the way of the cross.
Holding life in tension and bearing it’s pain is the way of the cross. And the way of the cross begins in humility, in obscurity and in impossibility.” With man these things are impossible but with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
This is the life we are called to, a life marked with miracles and the unordinary. A life where heaven and earth meet in the hearts and actions of common people. The Celts talk of the “thin places.” Holy places where heaven and earth are nearest to each other. May our life in Christ recognize that the Kingdom of God is near,” may we see that every act of obedience, every act of humility, every act of repentance, every act of love, creates thin places where the Glory of heaven is displaced in human likeness, where Christ is revealed through us to the world.
May this Christmas resound with Angel song and the message of Good News. God is reaching out the world and bringing salvation through His Son.
The way of Christ is not simply a joyful, kind, happy go lucky lifestyle. The way of Christ rises against injustice, it speaks out for the poor, and it challenges the power of this world. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of light and light dispels darkness. As we journey to the babe and in Bethlehem, may we receive a new vision of our lives, a life that is to grow in wisdom and stature as Jesus Himself did.
May we give ourselves fully to the work of Jesus Christ our King, and bring the Good News of God into every situation. The Good News that Jesus is the Christ and He is the Messiah and He is saving the world. May your faith be renewed and, may you live in the knowledge of the love of Christ.
Jesus said, as he prayed to God (John 17:26): “I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me, may be in them, ad so that I may be in them.”
God’s desire is that you will be one with Him!
Now that is Good News!
Fr. Andrew Manning