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Christmas 2021

Newborn Baby or Mighty King

Having the privilege to be raised in a country where choice of religion is free, my parents although from very different backgrounds chose to embrace Christianity. Their choice influenced my upbringing in a solid and life giving way.

I remember thinking about all the contrasts that often produced tensions in the stories I learned. The Christmas Story is one of those that held so many contrasts and tensions. Just to name a few:

  • the Mother so young and although betrothed not yet married

  • the birthplace a manger far from home

  • a promised King came as a helpless baby

That last one is one to ponder. Gloria Gaither captured it well in the second half of her writing called Christmas.

"Love says it.

I think God tried all down through history to tell us what He wanted us to know. He sent prophets and His teachers, and they tried. And we got part of it. We got the part about God’s justice, and His law. We got the part about when we do bad things, we somehow have to pay, but the part that God really wanted us to know – the part that says, “I really love you!” –we weren’t getting that. God seemed far away.

But before time began, God had a plan. He said, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll send My love right down there where they are, where they can see it and touch it and know it, and I’ll send it as a little tiny, vulnerable baby so they’ll have to touch it, and they’ll have to hold it close. God’s love—right where we are.

My Bible says, The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJV).

The story of Christmas has been told in a lot of ways. Prophets predicted that one day a deliverer, the offspring of King David, would come. But how like God, to send an ordinary baby. How like God, to choose to limit Himself to a body like ours, and one of our languages, and our time and space. How like God, when we were so broken and guilty, to choose to walk with us and touch us and make us whole.

And, how like God to reach beyond our questions and doubts, right past the exercises of our minds, on past our suspicions and cynicisms – all the way to where we are."

Where are you at this Christmas season: Far from home, experiencing deep and hurtful challenges, feeling cynical and betrayed, indifferent to it all, knowing the presence of family and friends, wishing for more of ( you name the more), content and at peace?

May you catch glimpses of the beauty of love in and around you......just where you are. And may you pass it on to someone who needs it most, right where they are.

May you have a Wonderfilled Christmas this year.


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