At this time of the year we remember a couple who moved into our neighbourhood in the most unusual of circumstances. Unmarried, poor and expecting their first child with no postnatal arrangements in place and no midwife support. To make matters worse they had nowhere to live – they just moved into our neighbourhood. John 1:14 the message paraphrase of the bible says that Jesus “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood”.
I’m sure that many of you were ahead of me from the beginning and knew where I was going with the story – and that’s the problem, its Christmas, we are church leaders and we all know the story. The challenge with recalling such a well-known event is just that, we know it and therefore can pay little attention to it. Anyway, we are just so busy with church events and planning for special services that we just don’t have time to…time to remember that the Son of God humbled himself, left the splendour of heaven and moved into our neighbourhood – no time! No time for it to come alive and afresh in our lives in a way that it flows ever fresher and vital from us to others.
There is a poem I have referred to before entitled “Leisure” by W. H. Davies which asks “What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”, he ends the poem by saying “a poor life is this if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”. Davies is considering the beauty of nature but how very poor a life it is if we fail to spend time at Christmas to stand and stare at a baby in a manger – the son of God incarnate.
Consider this, that while we know the story so well that we may even think in unnecessary to spend too much time reading about it again, there are many in our neighbourhood and possibly in our churches who don’t know much if anything about this amazing event and even if they do, it is treated with a great degree of indifference.
This Christmas, let’s spend time remembering and telling others that the Son of God actually moved home to live among us, people who sadly have little or no time for him.