Christmas is here! I have to confess, I have been enjoying the build up to this day for over a month, and I was often found with Wham playing from my car. ‘Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…’
Anyway, firstly let me say Happy Christmas to you. Secondly, lets read this together;
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
John 1:14 The Message (MSG)
I love this, it is from the Message and it seemed somehow fitting as Eugene Peterson, the guy who translated this version passed away earlier this year, and for me, this version really captures something special with this verse.
When I look around at the world there is such a desperate need for hope and for a voice to the hurting, alone, afraid, to those who have been beaten and broken by the twists and turns of life. That’s perhaps an obvious statement, we can see that all around us, but if you scratch the veneer, peel away the gloss in this world you will find people who have abundance and yet feel just as alone.
Sometimes, when I look at the Christmas cards of baby Jesus, he is depicted as growing up to be a man with a halo and piercing blue eyes. I can easily see why for some people this just doesn’t fit to the hope they are looking for.
But here’s the thing, Jesus is the hope of the world, he really is! The word, or God has become flesh. You see God was made visible to the world in the person of Jesus. The baby we see on the Christmas cards is a reminder that God moved into the neighbourhood, he became part of your community.
What I have discovered is that when Jesus was born into this world, God with us, something incredible happened. He made the choice to be one of us, in the fullest way possible.
When I think about Christmas, and Jesus being born it is about God moving into the street and living with us. So when we talk about hope at Christmas, and the world needing hope, we have found it in Jesus!
When you feel alone or betrayed, when you feel rejected and people have spoken cruelly about you. When you have been lied about or feel your name has been slandered. When you feel misunderstood, misrepresented, unloved, abandoned or forgotten, Jesus has experienced all of that and more and is our living hope!
The Bible tells us that he not only knows this life and how it feels, he has overcome it, and all for us! Can you find more hope than that? You see, Christmas and the time in which we stop and celebrate the birth of Jesus is about celebrating God moving into the community to rescue us, and reach us through the life, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus the Christ.
God didn’t choose to be distant, somewhere remote in the cosmos hiding from us, he made himself like us so we can see him, know him, trust him and put our hope in him alone. And for 2,000+ years generations of people have been doing just that.
Have a fantastic Christmas, and may you know and experience the peace and hope that can only be found in the name of Jesus, the Christ.