It is no good trying to avoid the running around that we have to do for Christmas. It has become so much a part of our culture. The buying of gifts, the sending of cards, the decorating of the tree.
But while we do that, let’s look at what the Bible demanded of the Israelites. Ancient Israel was a community of faith vandalized by memory. For Israel knew her God not by reflection on the mysteries of nature, but by reflection of her history. It boils down to one word: “Remember.”
I ask you today to think back and remember that supreme event in human history. On a night that many of us take for granted, the whole world was turned upside down. An event that baffles the human mind, that no one would have predicted: God’s own Son entered our world. Divinity became humanity.
He entered our world just like us. Born in a forgotten corner of the world in a feeding trough for animals with only Mary and Joseph to see. He entered the world as powerless as we do; with what some have called “omnipotence in bonds.”
We must remember that night when Jesus touched this earth, life would never be the same again. On the surface, much still seems to be unchanged. We can still hate, wars can still wound us, children still starve, the elderly are often forgotten and we still get sick and die.
But that Child’s birthday was a divine promise that evil is less powerful than good. That each one of us can be one with God, now and forever.
As you write your cards this year, remember the first Christmas message was brought to you by angels. As you buy your gifts, remember the first Christmas gifts were brought by wise men to an impoverished Child.
And when Christmas day comes, and you are surrounded by family and friends, remember that family in a stable because there was no room at the Inn. My friends, this is the time to remember.