Christmas Eve 2015
Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, 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.
Are you tired and weary this Christmas Eve? (Now Jo is home, I have found taking over from a wonderful team of nurses, physio, cleaners and catering staff, utterly exhausting, and very distracting re. focussing on that manger!!) Are you anxious or stressed out or ill – needing comfort? Or hanging on as bravely as possible for the sake of the children? Do you desperately need hope for the future, that it will be different to your ‘now’? Are you feeling small and ‘lost’, like my young friend who phoned last night after having a possibly malignant anal polyp removed, and the promised reassuring phonecall from the hospital never coming, and the diagnostic centre closed down for Christmas?
With political manoeuvring and greed for more taxes motivating Caesar’s decree, so that families are in upheaval and internally displaced as they travel to register, Mary and Joseph, young and vulnerable and exhausted, dusty from the journey and far from home at a time when they so needed the security of home for the imminent birth of Mary’s child, find themselves without a proper room to stay in. They were surely experiencing the full range of human circumstances and emotions the night Jesus was born, with shepherds, angel choirs and innkeepers thrown in to roller coaster them around!
Ali Herbert says “Grown-ups need to hear the message of Christmas at least as much as children do, if not more – not the mistletoe and wine bit, but the real heart, the real guts of the Christmas message. Jesus was born as a human baby, conceived by the Most High and the Holy Spirit, for you and me in all our brokenness, need and faltering hope. The real wonder is that Christmas is for grown-ups too”
So dear OTCC family, let’s immerse ourselves into the wonder of that birth, bringing all our physical, mental and emotional limitations with us – let’s worship CHRIST the KING with all we’ve got – and not got!