We are very close to Christmas Day now. How will you be spending the next couple of days? Presents to wrap? Maybe still some presents to buy? Food to buy and prepare? A series of visits to friends and family? Or perhaps your Christmas will be quiet . . . maybe quieter than you would like it to be.
Before you take a deep breath and dive into Christmas, letís take a few moments to stand beside Mary and Joseph, and the manger with the newborn child.
All of history, from the beginning of time, sharpens to a point here, in a humble shelter somewhere in Bethlehem. The journey from Nazareth, the increasingly urgent search for a place to stay, the hours of labour and even the birth itself Ė all of this activity is over now as Mary wraps her child in strips of fabric and lays him down.
Later there will be more angels, visitors and more visitors, a trip to the Temple and a desperate escape to Egypt. Looking into the future we see miracles and wonders, exaltation and accusation, death and resurrection.
But for now, let us stop, and breathe, and be amazed at a sovereign, creator God who would willingly leave the glory of Heaven and be born among us as a helpless child among the poorest people, all for our sake. Godís plan is strange and wonderful; we could not have imagined it and we would have no hope without it.
This is our Lord, tiny feet kicking, tiny fists beating the air. This is our Lord, who has known every experience of being human like us. This is our Lord who, leaving behind the glory of Heaven did not choose to be born into a Kingís palace, but came to us, where we are, so that he could take our hands and lead us to the Father.
Let us worship him today.