If we lose the wonder of Christmas under the weight of the presents, the merry -go- round of parties, the alcoholic haze, the endless cooking, the frantic search for suitable gifts, the wearisome travelling to see relatives, then we miss the reason for our celebrating.
God’s genius lies in the unexpected.
Not just that his Son should be born in a stable in Bethlehem, undetected by all but a few (we know the story well).
But that, at that moment, God’s nature and human nature should become one.
Humanity and divinity encapsulated in a single life.
It had never happened before. Of course there had been good people living before Jesus, with high ideals and commendable virtues.
But the Christmas child was of a different order.
His parents knew the secret but it was not until after his death and resurrection that his origins were widely realised.
In what way then is the Infant Jesus a gift from God to us? To put it in a nutshell, “God became human that we might be like God.” Jesus’ birth takes us back to the creation story in the book of Genesis where we read that God made us “in his own image”.
In other words, we have within us the potential to be fully human.
If we want to know what that looks like, look at Jesus.
To be fully human is to be infused with God’s own life.
God’s Christmas gift is offered for the transformation of ourselves and our sin stained, divided and weary world.