Christmas Day

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Readings; 

Sermon: 

From Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley.

First of all, a very happy Christmas to you. Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Happy Christmas! Alleluia!

Who can forget the old Covid rhyme, Hands, Face, Space? But today is Christmas Day, so what might that mean for us?

In Jesus God opens his hands to embrace the world. God so loved the world that he gave his only son, Jesus Christ. So Jesus opens his hands to bless the world; he wasn’t afraid to touch the leper and the outcast. He used those hands to bless and to heal. And yet at the age of 33, those same hands were stretched out and nailed to a cross of wood. Today, the risen Jesus is with us, with you. He comes to you with painfully open hands to embrace you with love and understanding. His hands bring blessing still.

And then In Jesus God shows us his face. No one has ever seen God, the bible tells us, but in Jesus, God has made himself known to us. Jesus called himself Son of Man, and yet in him the whole glory of God was pleased to dwell.

The theologian John Robinson called Jesus the human face of God. If we ever wonder what God is like, we should go to the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the bible. We should read the stories of Jesus and then we will know what God is like. David Jenkins, one-time Bishop of Durham summed up the whole gospel in just 11 words:

‘God is as he is in Jesus, therefore we have hope.’

Hands, Face.. and finally Space.

In Jesus God breaks down the space that we imagine lies between earth and heaven, between human and divine, between flesh and spirit. The ancient peoples thought of God as far above the sky, far above the heavens! We in our space age know that it’s not quite like that. God is somehow everywhere and yet in the gospels, God becomes somewhere in Jesus. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.’

In other words, God becomes one with us in Jesus, fully divine and fully human, that we might know ourselves to be one with him forever.

You can think of Jesus as divine, yet he is fully human. But he’s not just human like you and me – he’s fully divine. It reminds us that to find God is not to deny our humanity. The closer we get to God, the more fully human we become. The more fully human we become, the closer to God our lives will be. To be as truly human as we can possibly be, is to discover our true nature, our true self in God.

So, Hands, Face, Space.

God is as he is in Jesus. Therefore we can have hope!

Despite everything this year, have a blessed and happy Christmas!

 

To explore these questions further, read the first chapter of John’s Gospel where he unwraps the mystery of the incarnation in a wonderful way. Spend time with the passage, see if there are any bits which raise questions or bits that speak words of comfort or inspiration to you. What does this chapter reveal to you about the nature of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Page last updated: 15th December 2021 2:05 PM
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