Christmas is here again. As we return from our morning church jaunts, reflect if you will on something we never talk about. The word is compassion. The dictionary defines the word as the ability to relate and understand, while assisting.
Imagine, Jesus, the Son of God and our Savior born in a stable and placed in a manger instead of in a cot! When God comes he usually comes in humility, silently and peacefully, without causing a great disturbance. God’s humble coming in Jesus would not surprise us if we knew God better. But of course we will never know God sufficiently to understand. So no matter how much we try to understand God becoming human in Jesus we will not be able to comprehend, it will remain a mystery. The best reaction is that of the shepherds, they came simply to praise God. They had no gifts, likely smelled bad, but they came in humility and compassion. They understood simplicity. They knew compassion. They offered what they had. I often imagine one of the shepherds taking the covering from his shoulders and providing it to Mary to provide warmth to the child.
As we look on baby Jesus we think of the mystery of God’s love for us. Why did God who is almighty and all-powerful become small and powerless as a baby? Quite simply, out of love for us. God became human so that we might become more like God. If He had not come as a human like us, we might have had difficulty in believing that God really loved us. But now we know for sure.
John the Evangelist says, “This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him”.
This year we have been surrounded with the chants of ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Joseph and Mary experienced a few chants too that evening long ago. “No room in the inn!” “No room here!” Door after door was closed in their face. It’s amazing that God in his son experienced rejection and scorn at the beginning of his life and the end of his life. Joseph knew the feeling of rejection. He knew what it was like to want to be a man that wants to provide for his family. Mary knew what it was like to be gossiped about. There was no Facebook then, but I assure you someone would have posted something rude about her on her page.
God’s way is not one of violence but compassion. There is a lack of goodness and love in the world but God is tender and loving. As we look on baby Jesus in the manger we see that he is the answer to today’s problems. Instead of apathy, in baby Jesus in the manger we see compassion.
Instead of hatred, in baby Jesus in the manger we see tenderness.
Instead of selfishness, in baby Jesus in the manger we see love for us.
Let us ask baby Jesus to help us to be gentle, tender and loving with those around us as he was in the manger.
Let us thank God for revealing his love for us in Jesus, that he who is so big and powerful became so small and weak for us, that he became one of us, to help us be more like Him, to have life through Him. To experience gentleness.
I wish you and your family peace this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.