“The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.” [John ch1 v14]
How would it be if Jesus had come as a vision on a cloud and had walked about the world spreading blessings and healing and fine words wherever He went. The people would have flocked to Him, everyone who saw Him would have been overwhelmed. Knowing human nature in the way we do, it is possible that He would have been commandeered by the great and the poor pushed out of the picture. What good would He have done then, hemmed in by people’s expectations, remote and able to bless people from a height, giving in a way that made people feel diminished.
That is not the way that God works, that is not unconditional Love in all its fullness, that is not the action of the divine but the fanciful theory of human manufacture. We are good at imagining how we would like to see the Lord at work, the people then saw glory and might with the Messiah to come as a grand general at the head of a celestial army. Nothing was further from the truth, Jesus was born among us for very good reasons, to Emmanuel, God with us.
God With Us, how quietly and in such obscurity, did the Saviour of the world appear, a baby with no ability to influence, with no money to court popularity. A child born to a family who became refugees, who understood the meaning of hard work in order to stay alive. God With Us during childhood learning to see the world from a Human perspective, learning about family life. Observing village life, watching people fall out and resolve their differences, experiencing hardship, watching people as they interacted and used every incident in His Parables and teaching. He got alongside people and spoke their own language. He understood their problems and because He had experienced and observed He was able to talk with authority and authenticity.
Jesus stands among us and walks with us and talks to us, speaks to our hearts and with such understanding and authority. Partly because He has known the light of good companions and the devoted service of His followers. He has given us great examples of Love through His teaching and His compassion for all people, especially the marginalised. He taught of Forgiveness which was a new concept at the time and something which is a pillar of the Christian faith. He taught us to pray, not only with His own prayer which we repeat to this day but taught us to pray regularly, the Gospel writers tell us that He always prayed, always asked God for the way forward, always took time to speak to His Father. Something which we as His followers continue to do, to keep in touch with God even if each prayer is few in words but great in faith.
Partly because He has been there in the darkness of being left alone by His closest friends, unjustly accused and condemned, He walked a lonely road to His death. Knowing what His end would be yet, He did so with a dignity away above anything we can imagine. He continued with God’s Plan no matter how difficult it was going to be and still finding compassion within Him to forgive the people who crucified Him.
Why did Jesus come among us other than to save us, as a human He was able to communicate God’s Love in a completely genuine and trustworthy way. He died on the cross after suffering the awfulness of abandonment, humiliation and pain. A sacrifice, dying for all of our sins, so that when we meet God we have been wiped clean as Jesus intercedes for us. His Loving work completed in the Resurrection showing the world His Divinity, and in His great compassion for us is still with us.
We thank God for that wonder, for Jesus coming as a baby to an ordinary family to help us understand the truth of the Love of God and to show us the Way.
LET US PRAY
Almighty and Everlasting God,
We give thanks for all that You have done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We thank You that He had such compassion for all people.
We give thanks for His example during His life on earth and for his great teaching,
We given thanks for those who have brought us to know Jesus and for those who have nurtured and grown our faith.
This day we think of those in need of prayer,
For our nation and the struggles people are going through during this hard times.
We give thanks for those who are working to breaking point to cope.
Especially we ask a Blessing on and support for the NHS, those who work so hard to support the fabric of our lives, cleaners, shop workers, transporters and carers.
We pray for the people of the USA who have been traumatised by recent events and pray for peace and reconciliation.
We pray for the people of the world struggling with Covid and all that this brings to them. Be the Light in the darkness and walk alongside all of us.
We pray for those who are ill at this time, those waiting for tests, or treatment and we ask for Your Strength and Your Healing Touch upon them
We ask all these things in the strong name of Jesus.
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