A child taking flesh is a wonderful and slightly terrifying thing!
I know it as a parent, and we all know it as we reflect on our own births and the journey of growing with all of our vulnerabilities and gifts.
God delights over us in our births and journeys of growth.
The birth of Jesus, as we imagine it from what we are told, is just as wonderful and slightly terrifying, and it rightly captures our imagination, and our worship because of who Jesus turns out to be.
We celebrate Jesus’ birth because of all that we know of Jesus’ life: his teaching and compassion and grace; his bearing of God’s forgiving love; his dying and his rising.
We tell – and sing – the stories of his birth, across generations, because here is God coming among us – Emmanuel, the Son of God – come to touch and challenge our own lives with forgiving grace, faithful love, and courageous hope.
Sharing flesh like him, we are called to follow and reflect his own generosity grounded in God’s love.
During this year I’ve seen some of the ways that that’s reflected in the church: I’ve seen how people have responded with care for each other through the crisis of the floods;
I’ve appreciated time with leaders of Congress as we’ve worked on walking together, even as we acknowledge the deep grief surfaced by the death of young Cassius.
I’ve seen work done by the church to address domestic violence, to promote inclusion; and to address climate change; and I’ve seen our institutions demonstrating our values in personal care, advocacy, and high ethical standards.
Love is made flesh.
And we tell and sing and proclaim the Christmas story because God is made flesh: the God we adore is one who shares the wonderful and slightly terrifying journey of birth and growth, calling us to fullness of life, and to joy proclaimed in our deeds, our worship, and our proclamation.
Knowing Jesus’ life we celebrate his birth, and the grace, love and hope God brings for the sake of the world God loves.
A blessed Christmas to you all,
Rev David Fotheringham