[Anglican Communion News Service] Isaiah looks forward to God rescuing His people, instantly recognisable, leading them in victory. Hebrews looks back at the great line of prophets and says this arrival is the climax to the whole of history. John starts with those words that send shudders up the spine, consciously echoing Genesis, “in the beginning ……. ”
[December 2013] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in her Christmas Message 2013 prays: “May you discover that humble authority born again on the edges of the world’s notice. May that royal inheritance and authority of the stable be born in you, enliven your heart, and rest on your shoulders.”
Today is a great Sunday: called “Stir-up Sunday” because we prayed earlier that God would stir up the power of the Spirit and come among us. What a powerful prayer — no pun intended. And God is answering that prayer today. It is also called “Gaudete Sunday” which is Latin for “rejoice”, quoting Paul’s injunction to the Philippians to “rejoice always and again I say rejoice!”
The really important part of Christmas is something immensely simple. Yet it eludes us, as well — perhaps because it is so simple. In his "Mass", Leonard Bernstein has a song, "A Simple Song", which says that "God loves all things/ For God is the simplest of all." The English theologian Charles Williams called Jesus Christ "The Divine Thing." A simple thing, namely, God one of us. The Reason for it all...