If I Was Preaching Today

this is what I would have said, or should have said.

Jesus came to earth as a vulnerable child to a backwater town in a occupied territory. You have heard that before.

The amazingness of this story is that no matter how many times you hear it, it remains fresh, a new story, a story that never ceases to take my breath away.

But is that really true? Do I let it take my breath away? Sometimes I am too caught up in what else is going on, who is around me, what I have to do next, how many other things I need to accomplish before I get to relax.

The Christmas message came to shepherds who were in the middle of work. They were surprised, frightened, and confused. And then when they received the message from the angels, they left their place where they knew everything and went to find the new answer.

But after finding the new promise, they returned to their work, but their work did not keep them from talking about their experiences.

The amazing gift which we have received through the gift of the incarnation is the gift of Jesus making himself one of us. The king of the universe is come to earth to be our child and our gift. God has given us his grace to redeem us and to be with us.

Immanuel, God with us.

In mythology, when gods were with people, they were frequently hurt and used. Instead of a set of vengeful gods who only look to protect themselves, God came to share in our hurt and vulnerability.

I spend so much of my life trying to be strong and invulnerable, that I miss out on times when I need help and don’t go get it. God wants to be involved. God is becoming real in the midst of us. His hands were scarred. Yes, scarred by the nails on the cross, but also from a lifetime of working with his hands.

Don’t be afraid, your savior has come.

Our savior is come, to be with us. Vulnerable. Given out, poured out and incarnate to be with us in our time of confusion.

God meets us in our brokenness and comes to find us as those who will be made whole in him. It is why he came to become one of us. That is the mystery of the incarnation, the brilliance of the mystery that reveals itself at Christmas. And Christ’s birth.

Peace and good will. We want that message. But we need to be open to receive it.

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