Christmas is a story of love and fragility. It’s a story of love in that it points to a Creator who cares so much for his creation that he decided to get involved in it in order to show what life is all about. He wanted to show that life is for living to the full and for enabling others, especially the sick, the poor, the refugee and the abandoned, to live life to the full as well. Christmas is also a story of fragility. It is easy to forget that all births are risky for both mother and child. In its accounts of Jesus Christ’s birth, the Bible highlights the fragility surrounding his birth and early life. He is born before Mary finds a proper room to give birth and in his infancy Jesus has to be smuggled out of the country because his life is at risk. Love is at the heart of Jesus’ survival: the love of his family and the love of God for his creation.
As a result of a discovery last Christmas, we have all been brought face to face with the fragility of humanity. Strength and achievements frequently mask our fragility, yet national economies have been stretched to breaking point, millions of people have lost their jobs and livelihoods, many have struggled with loneliness and mental distress and at least two million people have died because a bat somewhere in the Far East developed a virus that was passed on to a human being. From there the virus has swept across the globe like an invading army even reaching into the Antarctic. We are experiencing the fragility of the world’s systems and the limitations of our humanity. Fear abounds and the world has been brought to its knees.
The birth and life of Jesus Christ are reminders of our fragility. They are also reminders that when faced with severe challenges, it is love which sustains us, especially the love of family, friends and strangers which are reflections of God’s love for his creation.
I hope that you experience that Love this Christmas and can show it to others.