“I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:20)
Another year’s Christmas celebrations have come and gone. That is, another year of the secular and commercial madness that is called Christmas has come and gone. But the fact that is too often forgotten in the rush and hubbub of this annual madness is the very point and meaning of that birth that was the still point upon which all of history changed, forever. As John tells us in the first words of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came to be through him, and without him, nothing came to be. What came through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
The birth of Jesus expresses nothing less than God’s infinite love for us. When Jesus was born in that stable 2,023 years ago, he, the Word of God, the Word that is God, willingly lowered himself, taking on our human flesh, even to the point of suffering and death, and by doing so he demonstrated that love in the flesh. In this act of divine self-giving, he shows us the depths of God’s love for us and offers us a model of the holiness God made us for and intends us all to seek. Jesus, in taking on human flesh, assures us that God is present in all that we face, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That he would do such a thing, that is, take on our human flesh, suggests also that our nature, our humanity is worth God’s love. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
You have heard the old aphorism, in one form or another, that to know someone you must walk a mile in their shoes. Well, Jesus walked far more than a mile in our shoes. He walked to Calvary and the Cross, experiencing our joys, our sufferings, and the fear of death. He knows each one of us intimately and desires that we walk with him so that we might come to know him, and love him, and serve him in this world by learning to share that love with one another and even with strangers, now, in our daily lives. He knows who we are and he knows our most intimate details. And though we all too often continue to create a hell for ourselves by all too often rebelling against his love, claiming the divine right to “do it my way”, he still loves us and asks to walk with us, to be our light in the darkness. Today, this very day, he remains the true light for each of our lives. He is the light that continually draws us out of that darkness we have fallen into. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Jesus was the Word of God from the beginning, through whom all things, seen and unseen came to be. He was the Word that came into the darkness of fallen creation in the form of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the Word of God did not leave the world at the time of Jesus’ ascension back to the Father. Jesus, the Word of God, who was God, promised us at his ascension, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt. 28:20). That Word of God is still with us today for it is the eternal Word, the Word that was, is, and always will be, forever. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Though the events of the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus have come and gone, we are challenged to remember that the incarnation as well as the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, are historical events, but they are also divine events and as such their meaning, purpose, and import for each one of us remains the same yesterday, today and forever. The incarnation of Jesus Christ connects us back to God from the dawn of creation to the end of the age and into eternity. Thanks be to God!SKM: below-content placeholder