Sermon 29 December 2019

Having celebrated the birth of our saviour, the son of God, we come back down to Earth. The Gospel reading talks about the events following the Magi’s’ visit. Part of this reading is also used for Holy Innocents, to remember the death of all those young boys. The difference is that we see how the human actions fulfil the prophecies made about the Messiah.

Jesus’ infancy was not easy and it is because of him the family would move around. How must it have been for Jesus to grow up and be told these stories of their early life? How did his siblings treat him knowing this about him? If we accept that Jesus lived his early life understanding his life and choices as a human being, but knowing something great was moving around him, then he must have had a hard life. 

We see in the letter to the Hebrews that this act of becoming human was in part for the reason of suffering. In verse 10 the writer says that Jesus was made perfect through his suffering. In Verse 18 we see that he suffered when he was tempted so he could help us in our temptation. This is all done so we can see Jesus as a brother rather than a master. A person who understands, rather then a god who doesn’t, because he shares in our similar life experiences.

In verse 17 we see he was also made human so that he might be a high priest to stand for humans in front of God. Strangely he makes the sacrifice and is the sacrifice. Perfect to give it and perfect to be it.

We need to understand the humanity of this perfect and Godly child. To honour him, but also to know that he relates to us. To remember that through him God has experienced and humbled God’s self so we might know God’s love. Nothing we experience is unique to God.

The depth of Jesus’ birth is far greater than a day. It takes a lot of time and reflection to embrace its true meaning to our lives and the life of humanity and the creation. We begin our journey to understand, embrace and to live God’s gift.