“…and the soul felt its worth”

“O Holy Night” is a carol that poetically describes the birth of Jesus, and at the same time manages to throw in some pithy theological statements that jolt us out of our of the turkey-stuffed, chocolate-filled haze that can swamp us at this time of year. This little statement was one that struck me this morning.

The world can be a pretty cruel place at times. Goodness knows we’ve seen that in 2016, most recently with the horrifying images coming out of places like Aleppo, to name one. Its easy to wonder at the seeming disregard for innocent life that accompanies such destructive acts. Human beings seem to be the Red Dot $2 specials in the eyes of those who would wield military or political power.

Closer to home, we certainly have many for whom this would also feel true. From those in offshore detention, rioting in sheer frustration at the hopelessness of their situation, to those who walk our streets, ignored by family; friendless, powerless and unseen by those of us who possess these privileges. Maybe for some the sheer weight of their circumstances can become overwhelming  – especially around this time. We can feel ‘worth-less’.

This phrase reminds me that God has a different opinion.

Christmas is the time where we are starkly reminded that God, in a sense, lays aside his majesty, his power, his privilege, to become a helpless child, born to minority working class parents who have nowhere to stay, and so must camp out in stable, surrounded by livestock, with nothing but a feeding trough for a cradle.

Why? Because God thinks we are “worth it”. “For God so loved the world…” Just let that sink in for a moment.

In a world where people are often regarded as political pawns to move around a chessboard, examples to be held up as warnings to others. God, in this one act, turns that idea on its head. The Creator comes to live among His creation. God takes on the form of those who He made in His image. That should tell us something. About ourselves, about those close to us, about those we may even wish to ignore, about those who we see on our TV screens, wearing very little, fleeing for their lives, or just sitting in the rubble, dusty and blood-stained.

Christmas can mean a great many things to people, most of them good and right. But perhaps, in 2016, the most important message we need to hear is what God thinks of us. The value he attaches to human beings, not because we earn it, not because we deserve it, but because he “so loved”. Maybe if we took stock of that idea and made it our own, we would start to see people differently, treat them differently.

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About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

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