Do you think you would recognise God if you saw Him?
Would you have recognised Him at His birth? The angel made it clear to Mary who this baby was: “The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” But as we often marvel to each other at Christmas time – you would hardly expect the Son of God to turn up as a baby, born to a peasant girl and nestled in an animal feeding trough.
Would you have recognised Him at His baptism? God the Father made it clear, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” But if God hadn’t spoken from heaven, then His Son would have looked like every other individual lining up for John to baptise them. You would hardly expect the Son of God to join a line of sinners who are queuing up to confess their sins and be baptised.
Would you have recognised Him during His ministry? Many didn’t. At one point, even His disciple Peter took it on himself to correct Jesus. But again, God made it clear to them saying, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”
Would you have recognised Him as He died? Almost no one did. If He really was the Son of God, He wouldn’t let them do that to Him… would He? This time the most unlikely person made it clear to them: the centurion – a foreigner, a worshipper of other gods, the crucifier himself – said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
And so as we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, let’s recognise the babe in the manger in the way God wants Him to be recognised:
- As the one who came to line up with sinners… and God said, “With you I am well pleased.”
- As the one who said he would die for sinners… and God said, “Listen to Him.”
- As the one who hung on a cross in weakness and shame… and the centurion said, “Surely this man was the Son of God.”
It seems strange that on the morning we celebrate His birth, we share a meal which commemorates His death. But we can’t celebrate Christmas properly without recognising what He was born for. He was born to be our SAVIOUR.
And that’s a reason to rejoice! So thank you to all at St. Andrew’s who put in so much effort to enable us to celebrate Christmas together.
A very merry Christmas to you all!