As I write, there is music being piped through the School’s PA system to signal the end of Recess: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Dear Friends and Families,
As I write, there is music being piped through the School’s PA system to signal the end of Recess: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …
Indeed it is! And I am so grateful it is, for this year has been most disorientating. Now, though, there is God-given light on the horizon, as we anticipate a “normal” Christmas with most state and territory borders open and the promise of seeing friends and family face-to-face, as opposed to only over a Zoom call!
Christmas is all about the fulfillment of an ancient promise, so here is that promise from God to King David in about 1000 BC: ‘Now I promise that you David, and your descendants, will be kings. I’ll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I’ll make him a strong ruler, and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king’ [2 Samuel 7:11-16].
Please allow me to make a quick assumption for a moment: I’m guessing that none of you remember the day you were born. If you do, then you either have a remarkable memory, or something supernatural happened at that time!
I can recall being three and a half years old and my late grandfather buying me some lollies at a shop near his house, when we were visiting grandparents in the summer holidays on the NSW south coast. After that, my earliest childhood memory would be seeing the first installment of Star Wars at a drive-in movie theatre!
By and large, our birth (from our perspective) is not really a remarkable event in terms of our memory. It simply happened to us. We had no say in the matter. Granted, the gift of life in itself is remarkable, but when we consider that on any given day in the world there are approximately 355,000 births … well, we were indeed just one of many!
Indeed, from the beginning of time, the “circle of life” (to borrow a phrase from The Lion King) has continued throughout the ages: people are born, people grow up, people get married, people have more children, and people die.
When new children are born, there is such an overwhelming buzz of excitement and fascination, but for the midwives in a hospital, this is just one more day at the office: children were born on that day … and will be on the next … and the next.
Whenever I fly in an airplane, I always enjoy the benefits of having a window seat when the plane begins to make its descent into the city, because you really get a visual idea, of just how big the world is, and how small we are. Compared to the size of the world, one human being is next to nothing.
And yet, in human history, there is one birth, that is larger than life.
There is one birth that stands above all other births before it and after it. And what is remarkable is that this birth didn’t happen in a palace. It didn’t happen to rich and notable parents. There wasn’t a waiting media pack, ready to report every detail.
No, this birth happened to obscure people, in a reasonably obscure town, in a very obscure manner. And yet, this birth was different; so different in fact, that our division of time traditionally hinges upon it: BC and AD: Before Christ and Anno Domini – Latin for the phrase, In the Year of our Lord.
This was the birth of a King; actually, no, not just a King, but the King: the King, in fact, who was promised to Eve, Abraham, Moses and King David himself (as we read above in the quoted passage of Scripture), who would be David’s greater son. This baby … this king … is the Lord Jesus Christ himself!
His birth was planned from before the beginning of time. He was born at just the right time in human history. He is a king, who was born, in fact, not to be served, but to serve others. This King was born for us, so as to die for us. His name? Immanuel: God with us.
Regardless of the state of the world (COVID-affected or COVID-free), God’s plan was always to enter in our human lives, in our history, in our world.
A happy and holy Christmas indeed to you all.
If you would like to speak further, or have questions about the Christian life, then do please contact me at: [email protected]
If you would like to explore the certainty of Christ further, the two local Anglican churches listed below also have online resources to make use of.
I also encourage you to prayer the Christmas prayer below and watch or sing along with the Christmas carol link.
St Peter’s, Craigieburn
Redemption Anglican Church
you make us glad with the yearly expectation of the birth of your Son,
as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him,
when he shall come to be our Judge;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Christmas carol (Hark! The Herald angels sing)
Reverend Peter Waterhouse - School Chaplain