Monday, April 22, 2024
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Christ won’t leave us in a crisis

Christmas celebrations began many years ago by Christian churches around the world. Now, of course, it is the time when millions of people join this celebration and not always because they have formal religious connections.

Many people put symbols of the religious Christmas story around them in their homes – images of Mary and the baby Jesus, shepherds and wise men – and, undoubtedly, experience a sense of the joy contained in the Christmas story.

When Christians come together to celebrate Christmas, they will often have a number of chosen meanings linked with the Christmas story to which they give prominence. Some will focus on Mary, the Mother of Jesus who is known as a virgin.

Interestingly, even though many churches honour Mary and often have artworks picturing her, this has rarely carried through into genuinely approving of women in key leadership roles in these churches.

Many Christian churches, for example, don’t have women priests. Our Uniting Church does welcome women as ordained leaders, but this kind of acceptance is relatively recent, even in Protestant churches.

The arrival of Christ in the world as one of the Holy Trinity which forms our God (the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit), can be seen as very special. Christ arrives as a little baby, dependent on his mother, Mary, and others to care for him in all the normal and kindly ways we care for little children. But what a fascinating way for God in Christ to arrive among us!

At the centre of this reality is a God who enters human life, with all of its challenges and vulnerabilities.

It is good, especially at Christmas, to reflect on the meaning of this God who is with us – and what this very-present God offers to all of us who tread the earth as human beings. We can be sure that this God in Christ understands profoundly all that we face as people – all of our possible sufferings, failures, tragedies and challenges, as well as our achievements, gifts of love, moments of courage, hopes and fears.

To have this Human One in Christ as our God is to be able to trust that God truly knows and understands all that we experience in human life. We need never fear that we are left alone in tragedy or crisis. We can hold onto this Christ as we dare to enter every reality we face and ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes. We can be given deeper wisdom, when we need it, if we stay still and quiet and ask for Christ to be with us, embracing us as we tread difficult paths in life. Similarly, we can ask for Christ’s help for those we love as they encounter difficulties.

Throughout this Christmas, you may like to remember and celebrate the Human Christ who will never leave us or forsake us.

I’ll be doing this too.

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