Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The mess in your life is the manger where Christ is re-born

The first Christmas was a bit of a shambles;
Mary and Joseph were away from home
Accommodation wasn’t arranged
The place they found was makeshift
There were question marks over Mary’s pregnancy
Herod was plotting to kill their child
People kept disturbing their peace- like shepherds and later wise men
They had to become refugees soon after the birth.
It wasn't romantic, hygienic and it probably smelled a lot!

Politics, travel problems, domestic mess, strangers at the door, threats of violence, tiredness, gossip and uncertainty.

God came into a mess- it didn’t put him off and he didn’t miraculously sort it out.
He came to be God-with-us.  Emmanuel in the mess
We are messy creatures and that is how God made us
He knows that we are easily upset, want everything perfect and that we want to be appreciated
He knows that we can sulk and be adolescent at any age.
He knows that Christmas catches us out with tiredness, tensions and high expectations
And God wants to be with us in our fun, in our rest, in our upset and in our arguments this Christmas

Make room for Christ this Christmas in the joys and tensions of a family Christmas.
Take Christ out of your Christmas and all you have left is m and s

Emmanuel- God is with us- as one like us- not far away but in the mess
God is with us as one of us.
He teaches us from the messy manger that we are brothers and sisters
Whether we have a happy or a hellish Christmas God is equally with the sulker and with the saint.
The only difference is that the saint may be more aware of God in the mess.

We belong to each other in a communion of saints- 
a family of saints that extends deep into the mystery of God
who loves us unconditionally.

There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas-
There is always a messy Christmas and in the mess are the stirrings of new life.
The mess in your life is the manger within which your relationship with Jesus is being re-born

I will leave you with Pope Emeritus Benedict’s words on this theme:

Most of us in the world today live far from Jesus Christ, the incarnate God who came to dwell amongst us. We live our lives by philosophies, amid worldly affairs and occupations that totally absorb us and thus are a great distance from the manger. In all kinds of ways, God has to prod us and reach out to us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities to discover the way that leads to him. God comes to us as man so that we might become truly human. (Benedict 16th)