Sunday 25 December 2011

Bible Book:

"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him on bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (v. 7)

Luke 2:1-20 Sunday 25 December 2011


Happy Christmas! Glory to God in the highest heaven! Christ isborn in Bethlehem! In the words of a lesser known carol, our God is"contracted to a span" (Let earth and heaven combine, verse 1); thedistance between your extended thumb and little finger, poeticallyat least.

'Crime in a multi-story car-park - wrong on so many differentlevels' is probably funnier than most of the jokes you find in yourcrackers this Christmas. And it leads me to ponder: 'the birth ofJesus - joyful on so many different levels'.

The joy of the mother - despite the stressful circumstances -giving birth to her firstborn. The joy of Joseph, we presume, whohas come to terms with these strange and wonderful goings on. Thejoy of the angels, heaven's messengers, overflowing in songs ofpraise (verse 14). The joy of the shepherds, on the margins ofsociety, returning to their fields glorifying and praising God forall they had heard and seen (verse 20). And subsequently, the wisemen, overwhelmed with joy when the star they were following stoppedover the place where the child lay (Matthew2:10).

And down the centuries and across the globe; all nations, allpeoples, all ages, you and me - celebrating the simple joy of thebirth of a child - and the profound joy of God incomprehensiblybeing born amongst us. Joyful on so many different levels!

To Ponder

"Our God contracted to a span." Look at yourhands. Extend your fingers and thumbs. Reflect on the implicationsof God entering our world in such a small and vulnerable state.

Joy can be known even in the darkest timesbecause it is rooted in the message of this day - the assurancethat God is with us. What does it means for you that God is withyou? Seek joy in that.

What sources of joy are there in your life and doyou need to remind yourself of them?

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