“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 ,NIV)
Here we stand, a few days left to Christmas 2023!
Shopping malls are busy (Although admittedly not as busy as previous years-many feeling the financial pinch of our times, no doubt).
There’s a hustle and bustle as the world prepares for Christmas.
It’s a season of contrasts in many ways. On the one hand, Carols are playing, speaking of Joy, happiness, exchanging of gifts. On the other, one finds a mother or father struggling to make ends meet, and stressing as to how they are going to buy their children a gift this year.
On the one hand, one finds family members travelling from near and far to enjoy some family time together. On the other, one finds the lonely, the forgotten, the isolated – the ones who due to circumstances outside of their control, are unable to be with loved ones this year.
Interestingly, this atmosphere of contrasts is not unique to the 21st Century.
In fact, it was very much present that very first Christmas as well.
Think about the fearful shepherds who the Bible says were terrified, and we see against that backdrop, the angel’s message which was “good news of great joy” Luke 2:10
We read of the good news given to Mary that she would give birth to the Saviour of the world; but we cannot forget that somewhere in that story was a man, a God-fearing man –Joseph, who had arrived at a place of hopelessness, and
despair. He had just received news that had blown his world apart; news that his dearly beloved wife-to-be was with child (It was not his!). The proverbial rug had just been pulled out from beneath his feet. Dashed hopes and dreams for the future.
Weeping Mothers of Bethlehem
Those familiar with the story, don’t forget that while there was a celebration of the birth of the Christ child, there were countless women throughout Bethlehem
I don’t want to belabour the point, but I think we get the
Life around the time of the first Christmas, was
Filled with highs and lows
Joys and sadness
Hopes and fears
No different, in that sense, to life today.
Why all this talk about contrasts, highs and lows etc? Well, Dear Reader, I do so because I want us to be reminded of this profound truth: it was into that brokenness, that tension, confusion even, that Jesus Christ was born. In the midst
Of Joseph’s dashed hopes;
Of The Shepherd’ fears
Of The grief and sorrow of the weeping mothers of Bethlehem,
Jesus, Christ, the Saviour of the world was given.
We need to be reminded as well, that it’s to our broken and imperfect 21st Century world that Jesus is given. He was the answer to the messiness of the world back then. He remains the answer to the messiness of our world, and the messiness of our lives and situations, today.
Things a bit MESSY in your world right now? Could it be time to invite Him into that mess?