Christmas I – Nativity
2017 – Cycle ABC
Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14
Paisley is four years old. A couple of weeks ago, she went with her aunt Casey, a bartender at one of my “watering holes” in town, to see the movie, The Star. It’s an animated adventure story in which a group of animals who in following the star became accidental heroes at the birth of Jesus. There is Bo the donkey, David, the dove and Ruth, a sheep who has lost her flock and three wisecracking camels, Deborah, Cyrus and Felix.
Now during the movie, Paisley turns to her aunt and out of nowhere says, “Jesus forgives people’s sins.”
How simple and yet how deeply profound. “Jesus forgives people’s sins.”
Paisley’s simple assertion distills Christian belief to its essence: a relationship with Jesus Christ. While many of us distract ourselves with “Christmas”.
Paisley is aware of the voice of John the Baptist calling us to repent. While many of us attune our ears to the voice of our worries, the retailer, or our technology.
For many of us salvation still depends on whether we have been “naughty or nice”. Paisley invites us to walk with Jesus – whether “naughty or nice” into a future that will change how we live our lives.
Paisley speaks of vulnerability. While many of us still cling to the fiction that we are in control of our lives.
A Swiss physician, Paul Tournier, valued the vulnerable acknowledgement of our sin because it leads us to repentance and repentance leads us to the acceptance of God’s gift of grace; of God’s life and Spirit – the gift of gifts.
Usually at the center of the Christmas Season is the image of the infant Jesus in a manger. This year God has deigned to place in our midst a four year old girl, Paisley, with a simple message: “A saviour has been born to you – Jesus – who forgives your sins.” When the same message was announced millennia ago to shepherds and magi, they put aside everything and went in haste to find Jesus.
How will you respond?