1 Dec 2019 • Articles
December 2019 Parish magazine letter
In July 1969 President Nixon proclaimed, “The greatest event in human history occurred when man first put his foot on the moon”. Having got to the moon and experienced it himself on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, Colonel James Irwin countered this statement with one of his own: “The most significant event in our world is not that man stood on the moon but that God in Christ stood on earth.”
Space exploration along with many other scientific and technological breakthroughs in recent history are definitely a real achievement to be marvelled at but without the one event celebrated each Christmas where would the world be?
God planned Jesus’ coming to earth and prepared the way through Old Testament times (cf. Isaiah 9:6 or 53:3-7). By sending his son He showed his love for the world he had created and for us. God chose to come down from heaven to meet us where we are – in the midst of our humanity and all our mess.
As you hear and read the Christmas story take a minute to see it from the different perspectives of all the familiar characters. Consider the mix of excitement, anticipation, expectation and fear – Fear for what it meant for the future of the baby, those who aligned themselves to him and believed him to be the son of God before he uttered a word.They surely couldn’t have known how huge an impact Jesus would have in his lifetime and far beyond.
Jesus came to us so we could learn more about God our Father by seeing him through his son’s actions, words and teachings.Without the birth of Christ there is no Christmas to celebrate. Without that baby growing and living among us, gaining followers and showing God’s love to all humanity there would be no Christianity. The power and wonder of that event (recognised by many non-religious writers in the early A.D. centuries as well as the Bible’s writers) has shaped our world and been the building block for other steps.
Our reactions to the birth of Jesus may not be as extreme as those who lived through the events so many years ago but, as we rush around trying to make that “perfect” Christmas with all its trimmings, presents and social “must” events, we should take time to be wrapped in the knowledge that God sent his son to earth to help us to be who we really should be. What a present to savour and to share!
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas – Stephanie Goodwin