Christmas is just about here. All the preparations are in the final stages as we await the birth of Christ. I reflect back upon the birth of my first child and think of the anxiety in his coming into the world. There were so many unknowns about being a parent. Never mind the radical shift in thinking that must come with being a parent with small children. Rarely is life about what you want, as the kids come first. Birth requires a dramatic shift.
In Bible Study this week someone asked why the birth matters when it is the teachings of Jesus that really is the heart of the Gospel. To an extent they were correct; if we lose focus on the message of the Gospels and simply focus on the birth, we would miss something. The birth narratives in Matthew and Luke come later. They did not necessarily provide a historical account of the birth, but instead placed Jesus into the context of who he was to early Christians, the Messiah. While the details don’t really matter in the larger context of Jesus’ ministry, it does show that God starts things not with Kings and Queens, but with everyday people. Even if someone believed that Jesus was made up, his birth marks the beginning of a radical transformation of the world where peace, joy, love, and hope reign. That transformation begins with Jesus’ birth and continues with us. This is the story you will hear during the Nine Lessons & Carols on Christmas Eve. Please join us!
Pastor Ken Mantler