Sunday 25 December 2016

Bible Book:

"But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart." (v. 19)

Luke 2:1-20 Sunday 25 December 2016

Psalm: Psalm 110


With the orchestration and implementation of a nationalcensus,
surrounded by the crowds flocking to their hometowns,
a farmyard cacophony providing the Surround Sound for theimpromptu maternity unit,
heralded with angelic songs and proclamations,
accompanied by the bleating of sheep and the mumbles of the muchmaligned seasonal workers,
God moves into the neighbourhood.

God moves into the neighbourhood.

God moves into the neighbourhood in a totally unexpected way.This is not the entrance of a military saviour, riding in to sweepthe world off its feet and bring forth the kingdom of God withmight, authority and power. This unmistakeable, unremarkable,world-changing moment is a historical event, marked indelibly intoRoman history through governors, Caesars and Herod.

God moves into the neighbourhood with the ancient equivalent ofdiapers and gurgles and perfect innocence. Bloody. Wrinkly. Thefuture of the whole of the universe is on his swaddled shouldersand toothless gums. Jesus enters the world in an unorthodox fashionwith questionable, public, family circumstances.

God moves into the neighbourhood and the angels accompany Jesus'arrival with the melodic promise of hope and peace in the midst ofchaos, power and politics. The world will never be the same again.Here in Luke's Gospel, this news is not shared with academics,intellectuals, or the elite. Instead the good news oftransformation and promise is shared with outcast shepherds - thepoor and despised workers of the Bethlehem night-time economy. Themigrant, transient, seasonal, workers become the first recipientsof this message.

As God moves into the neighbourhood, so the lives of thoseinitial recipients are transformed. The shepherds leave rejoicing.The exhausted, confused, deeply uncomfortable, new teenage mother,Mary, take the space to notice and to receive the blessing of themoment. She breathes deeply and treasures these world-changingmonths.

To Ponder

  • If the good news of Jesus is for the migrant, transient,seasonal workers - how does this change the way we 'do'church?
  • Where do you need the promise of the Prince of Peace in yourlife, family, and neighbourhood?
  • What can you do today which enables you to breathe deeply andtreasure the gift of your present moment?
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