Dec 20 2012 by John Rowbotham, Hamilton Advertiser
The Rt Rev. Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell
So let us approach the Child-God in the stable at Bethlehem.
Magnificent, glorious and divine in the poverty and abasement of His Christmas crib.
We may tremble at the idea of gazing upon this adorable wonder and sacred mystery blazing before us. Yet the Infant in the manger seems to say to us: “You are afraid of God? Why? He who sees me also sees the Father.”
For this child is God’s own Son; that is His essential glory. It is through this Son that time, the ages, have been created. The Child-God Jesus is the Messiah promised and awaited “the expectation of nations”.
So why did God choose to make himself visible to us?
To instruct us. God the Father speaks to us through his Son, “This is my beloved Son; hear Him.” And Jesus too reminds us that His teachings are those of His Father: “My teachings are not my own, but His who sent me.”
Our Almighty Father presents Jesus to us to make God Himself visible to our eyes. The Christ Child is the example He wants us to follow. Jesus will live in the midst of us, living like us, growing up as a human being. And as He lives, so should we all – as children of God. Such is God’s infinite love for us that he claims us as His children! And as His children, He invites us to become heirs to His Kingdom in Heaven.
Our hearts should be surging with joy at being offered such a sublime gift.
And as our Heavenly Father gazed upon the events at the stable in Bethlehem, contemplating His Son made flesh for mankind, He saw that which never man, nor angel, nor Mary herself could comprehend – the infinite perfections of the Divinity, hidden in a child – “You are my Son, my beloved Son, in you I am well-pleased.”
Let it, then, be with great faith and hope and love that we approach the Child-God this Christmas season. Magnificent, glorious and divine in the poverty and abasement of His Christmas crib.
I wish you all a joyous Christmas and the peace of Christ.