Christmas

Dear Friends,

Many people would say that the biblical story of the birth of Jesus is nothing but a fairytale, a story that no rational adult could possibly believe, as the laws of science simply do not permit us to think about a divine 0being’s breaking into our world at a particular time in history in the form of a God-man.

I cannot possibly say how it is that Jesus was both God and man. But my intuition calls me to believe that it is true. If we think about it, isn’t intuition something that we rely on constantly, especially when it comes to life’s big decisions? What, for example, causes us to trust someone or to say to someone that we wish her or him to be our partner for life? Is it scientific observation or is it simply faith? Perhaps it’s a bit of both, but I suspect that the faith we have in those we trust or those we marry is based primarily on our intuition.

But let’s get back to Christmas. What I like about Christmas is that it shows God’s concern for us, his love for us. Christmas tells us that God is not a neutral deity, a god who brought the world into being and then has withdrawn to let things take their course for good or for bad. Yes, things do take their course for good and for bad; but God through Jesus shows us that through it all he loves us and wants to give us new life. Through Jesus God shows us that love is at the heart of God and that living a life of love after the example of Jesus is the best way to find meaning and purpose in this life that we have been given by God. Just as Jesus suffered in this life, so too do we. But if we have truly taken Jesus as our model of the way to live, we know that our suffering can be borne because we know that our God will see us through it. Jesus embraced death on the cross because his trust in God told him that God would see him through it. True faith, the sort of faith that Jesus showed in his life on earth, tells us that behind all of life, both what we know as the good and what we know as the bad, is God, a God whose purposes are always good, even though there are so many times when our minds cannot comprehend the ways in which God’s purposes are being worked out.

If anything in what I have just said attracts you, why not look at that attraction as God’s way of reaching out to you and inviting you to believe? God speaks to our reason, but he speaks first to our hearts, which is another way of saying he speaks to our intuition. We can, of course, tune God out. But why do so when God, who gave us our life, wants to show us how to live this life to the full, when he wants to show us the way to real life? May this Christmas a time when you find God in Jesus and say a heartfelt ‘yes’ to his invitation to new life.

Yours in Christ,
Charles Brown
Priest, Crowland Parish