This is Part 2 of Rethinking the Coming of Jesus. If you missed Part 1 you can find it here. Join us to look at the familiar passages of the birth of Jesus and seek a fresh perspective or a new discovery around Christ’s birth.
The Inclusive Presence of God
In the Gospel of Luke, we find the familiar story of the birth of Jesus. What stands out in this passage is the involvement of shepherds, who were considered outcasts of their time. Through their presence, God demonstrates His commitment to justice and inclusivity. The message is clear: God’s presence is accessible to all, especially those marginalized by society. This serves as a powerful reminder that no matter who we are or where we come from, we can find solace and redemption in the arms of our loving Creator.
The Act of Seeing
One key theme that emerges from the birth of Jesus is the act of seeing. In the Christmas season, we encounter passages from Isaiah and the Psalms that call us to open our eyes and witness God’s light and glory. The shepherds themselves were invited to see the Christ child, emphasizing that seeing goes beyond mere observation. It involves awareness, recognition, and spiritual vision. To truly see Jesus again for the first time, we must embark on a journey of rediscovery, acknowledging our fears and confusions, and moving toward trust, surrender, and service.
Grace at the Heart of Our Faith
As leaders, it is crucial for us to continuously return to the grace at the heart of our faith. Just as Mary experienced grace in her calling, we too are invited to embrace the transformative power of grace. This Christmas Eve, let us challenge ourselves and our communities to see God’s coming to us in Jesus. It may appear ordinary, but the extraordinary is woven throughout this narrative. By embracing the fullness of this moment and the profound simplicity of Luke’s account, we can engage in a deeper understanding of the Incarnation.
The Unlikely Witnesses
The birth of Jesus presents us with the surprising reality that the most unlikely people were the first to witness His arrival. While the expected ones, those who should have been waiting with anticipation, missed it entirely. This serves as a powerful reminder to stay open-minded and open-hearted, ready to embrace the unexpected and recognize God’s work in unconventional ways. As we ask ourselves and our listeners the question, “Where have you seen Jesus?” we invite an exploration of the unexpected places where God’s presence shines brightest.
Embracing the Present Reality
The birth of Jesus is not just a past event; it is a present reality. It is a call for all of us to be open to God’s visitation in our lives. As we reflect on the radiant glory surrounding the shepherds and the transformation they experience, we are reminded that God still visits us today. The Incarnation is an ongoing invitation to embrace the transformative power of God and allow Christ’s birth to continually renew our hearts and minds.
As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember the true essence of this season. May the joy of the shepherds, the humility of Mary and Joseph, and the peace proclaimed by the angels fill our hearts. Let us not be afraid to embrace the great things that God is inviting us into in the coming year. As we embark on this journey, may we see Jesus again for the first time, and may His presence guide and inspire our lives.
Merry Christmas! and we look forward to continuing the journey with you in the year ahead. Happy New Year!
00:00 Introduction and Episode Context
00:26 Rethinking the Birth of Jesus
01:38 The Gospel of Luke and the Birth of Jesus
02:27 The Act of Seeing and Spiritual Vision
03:16 Rediscovering Jesus and the Role of Grace
03:47 Challenging Ourselves and Our Communities
04:56 Reading the Scripture: The Birth of Jesus
07:24 Reflecting on the Scripture and the Incarnation
07:53 Fear Not: Embracing the Unexpected
09:26 Invitation to Transformation and Renewal
10:21 Christmas Wishes and Final Thoughts