He came to show us a way to love and live

A group of kids stands around an Advent wreath to light one candle.
Young people practice lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath at Trinity, Bradford. A candle will be lit each week during Advent, followed by the lighting of the middle candle on Christmas Eve. Advent starts on Dec. 3.
 on December 1, 2017
Michael Hudson

In Luke 2:11 we read, “to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” We may ask why God sent his Son into the world. As in the gospel story, we may answer that he came to the shepherds who were looking after their sheep, but not only to them. He came to the marginalized, the voiceless, to victims of exploitation and violence, to a broken world, to those without hope and to those with hope. God sent his Son into the world so that the world through him might be saved.

The birth of the Christ child is for Christians, the birth of the Messiah as proclaimed by the prophets of old. At the heart of this narrative is the conviction that God intervened in human history and became human in the person of Jesus. This act of unconditional love by God is for the sake and salvation of all. The incarnation is that God chose to come among us and share in our humanity.

We believe in Jesus Christ, that he is with us and that he offers comfort, hope, reconciliation and healing. We rejoice in the knowledge that in the birth of the child of Bethlehem, he came among us to offer a better way of living. Jesus’ coming into the world is about making a difference, transforming lives, offering peace and hope where there is brokenness and division.

In Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life, we look to him who shows us a more “excellent way” of being. He shows us how we should love, forgive, be compassionate, and live in community as good neighbours. The incarnation is the Good News of how individuals, families, and communities can be agents of change for the common good. Jesus’ mission, in which we are privileged to share, is about transformation for the salvation of humanity.

The times in which we live are very troubling and can so easily lead us into being fearful and full of despair. There is much suffering, pain and inhumane behaviour in our world. The perpetuators of inhumane behaviours want us to stop believing in God, in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. They want us to stop living into those Christian values which inform godly and righteous living. We cannot and must not give in to the negativity that pervades our communities. As believers in Jesus of Nazareth, we are to be witnesses to the work of a liberating, life-giving and loving God whom we worship and serve.

Archbishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in America, often speaks about how God, in coming among us in the person of Jesus Christ, came to transform this world from the nightmare it often is, to the dream that God intends for us all.

My sisters and brothers in Christ, we have an awesome God who loves us, a gospel to proclaim, and a witness to carry out as disciples of the One who came among us, that we might have life in all its fullness. In the story of our Lord’s birth, we are reminded again and again that he came to show us a way to love and a way to live. To us is born our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who invites us in the power of his Spirit to follow him. As we celebrate God’s gift of himself to the world this Christmas, may we live out the peace and goodwill heralded by the angelic hosts. I wish you all a blessed and happy Christmas, and good health in 2018.


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