What Child is This?

Somehow in my youth I thought it would all work out. I mean good people, working together for the common good, would make this world a happy place.

Surely, if we just put our minds to it, we can solve the problems that cause so much pain in the world. Hunger, poverty, war, hatred – are all fixable if we just work together.

I don’t believe that anymore. Even on our best days, with everyone on their best, there’s just something in the human condition that causes us to mistrust, to cheat, to bully, to steal, whatever. As the cartoon character Pogo said some time ago, “We have met the enemy; and he is US.”

Others, coming to this same conclusion about humanity, have turned to an anxious life of getting what they can. The more tender hearted of us tend to despair.

But something outrageous has happened today.

God, who created this world and saw it to be “good”, has come to make “all things new”. He has seen how deep the wound is in the human heart (a self-inflicted wound) and provided the most fitting remedy imaginable.

The short of it is, God is going to give us a new heart. He’s going to give us a heart like His. How will this happen? (Here’s the mind boggling part). God became a human being. God took a human heart (God’s human heart .. think of it!) when he was born of Mary. His human name is Jesus. Today we celebrate his birth.

He has the only remedy that seems deep enough and true enough to break the chains of the selfishness that grips the world and each one of us. You see this God baby came to this world to die.

Why will he have to die? Because God the Father wanted his Son’s heart to take all the sickly, selfish, violent stuff of humanity into itself and die. So that sin has finally met its match – – – a love that is willing to die at the hand of the hater for the purpose of revealing the love of God for humanity.

He “became sin for us. He who knew no sin.” (2Cor. 5:21) And he took sin and death down with him when he died. Death died in Christ. It’s a kind of love never seen before.

God of course will raise this noble heart of Jesus to a new life in the Resurrection. And here’s where humanity gets a new heart. We now are reborn by the grace of God. By adoption we become Children of God and begin a life “in Christ” seeking God’s will to do.

This changes everything. There is something really new here. Now there is Hope. Hope that, with Christ (ONLY with Christ- – – we’ve tried everything else!) . . . with Christ we are reconciled to one another since we have all been loved and saved by the blood of Christ. He lives in you. He lives in me.

We are brothers and sisters in Christ who loves us all. Let’s let the world know.

But first, on this Christmas Day, we gather at the manger to hear the baby’s sweet breath and touch his little toes. Too soon he’ll be taken from Mary to walk the Mount of Calvary.

There he will open the heart of God for all to find their home.

A blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Fr. Tim