CHRISTMAS is here. In the midst of the carols, turkey, gifts and Christmas tree sparkle, I always love taking the time to read Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 1:
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.
God became flesh. He didn’t arrive in a palace surrounded by honour and splendour. Instead, just as the prophets predicted four hundred years earlier, He chose to be born in a stable. God chose a humble young woman, who against the odds believed that what God said to her would happen. His name – Jesus.
Alexey Kandakov transplants figures from neoclassical works into urban environments to create stirring visual juxtapositions. Here he layered William Bouguereau’s nativity scene "The Song of the Angels" with a subway setting, evoking a homeless Mary riding the trains all night. pic.twitter.com/zweQpvB0PB— Bridge Projects (@Bridge_Projects) December 16, 2021
He wasn’t distant or unreachable. He moved into the neighbourhood. He moved into our pain, our brokenness, our questioning, our wondering, our laughter and our tears. He moved in and the very Word of God became flesh; Like Father, like Son.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Mary as she, the created one, held her creator? Oh, the mystery. Yet we are told that as she held Jesus, “she pondered these things in her heart”. We aren’t told exactly what she pondered, but I wonder as Jesus slept and she held him close did she think to herself: how can I do this? How can I raise this boy? How can all this be?
There is something beautiful in the Christmas story that calls us to believe and embrace mystery. To recognise and know that sometimes we have more questions than answers. Sometimes, like Mary. we need to rest, not just physically, but also rest in knowing that God is present. As you face this Christmas I hope and pray you learn to rest in knowing that God is still here. He continues to live in our neighbourhoods. So often He speaks to us through others. I pray that you get a glimpse of His light, hope, peace and joy.
Christmas blessings to you all.