A Christmas Message from Rev Jan Vidler
To say 2020/1 have been a strange years would be a gross understatement. So many things have changed, some of these will remain some will not. In times of severe challenge sometimes people ask, “Where is God in this mess?”
One of the most important reasons I believe in Jesus is because he came from Heaven to earth. When I look at the uncertainties that we all face at the moment, I am so reassured that Jesus was born in the most challenging of circumstances. He was born to a young mother who faced opposition because of her baby. He was born in a land ruled by the Romans who tolerated Jewish people as long as they obeyed their new masters who had taken over the land. After an unexpected journey, Jesus was born in a stable amongst the animals because no accommodation could be found. His mother had no special baby clothes so he was wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger instead of a crib. After Jesus was born, horrible Herod tried to get the wise men to say where he was but they were guided by an angel and both they and Joseph, Mary and Jesus escaped and Jesus was taken to the strange land of Egypt.
Nothing in this set of circumstances was easy or comfortable. You could say that Jesus was born into a messy stable as well as a messy world. So why would he come from Heaven to be born like this?
The most precious gift any of us can ever receive is love as many have rediscovered this year. Love has been shown in many different ways recently as people have showed they care, even for people they don’t know. God has always cared for and loved all people. God’s Son Jesus came to show the reality of this and to reveal this love by being with us. God’s love doesn’t give up when the going gets difficult; he enters our mess and is with us and leads us, through and out the other side of the different messes that we can find ourselves in. Where is God? He is waiting for us to talk to him (prayer) and waiting for us to invite him in. When we do, we find that the eternal God knows everything about us and still will always be with us, whatever we face. This Christmas, let’s thank Jesus for coming and let’s reach out and receive this wonderful love from the God who knows all about mess.