A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac was the father of Jacob..Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam…..Matthan the father of Jacob and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
(Matthew 1, various)
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…born of God.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! the reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
I am that child, the one who was never popular, never cool, the one who didn’t push herself forward or think she was anything special.
I am that child, the one who looks at the world and feels the fear, cowers at the darkness, shivers at the evil and malice, wakes from screaming nightmares of the power of humanity to wound, humiliate and destroy.
I am that child, the one who is tired of trying, of finding her own strength inadequate to the adult-sized task, tired of being patronized, dismissed, ignored and demeaned, who is beginning to believe what the stories of others tell her about her own worthlessness.
I am that child, the one who lashes out in her own weakness, and then stands appalled at the damage she has done, the one who holds back for fear of hurting others and is then trampled all over, her restraint mistaken for surrender.
I am that child, so ashamed of her own mistakes that she wants to hide away for ever, to punish herself for the mess and pain she has caused, the one who knows the truth behind the big public act, knows only too well that she is a fraud.
Who will comfort this child?
Who will be her shelter?
Who will show this child that she is beautiful, precious beyond all telling?
Who will teach this child that she can be whole, pure and fiercely, gloriously holy?
Who will heal the wounds of this child, and pour the cleansing of true forgiveness over her stains?
Who will lift this child’s head, look into her eyes, and show her that there is a life worth living, a journey worth taking, a love worth giving, that she is called and qualified to give?
Who will bring this child into the light, and say, “This is my beloved daughter, she is perfect, because she is as I made her to be; and in her I delight!”?
Who, if not her perfect heavenly Father?
Oh, how I need the good news which the angels brought, of a child born in Bethlehem who would be Immanuel, God with us! How I need to know my Father’s love, his will and power to save me, to transform me, to show me my true worth.
In the birth of Jesus Christ, all the children of the world find firm ground for hope, and good cause for joy.
Let us be the children who make much of Christmas, who rediscover with delight the gifts being bestowed on them by their Father, who nestle in the security of his arms and face the days ahead with confidence knowing he will go with them.
Glory to God in the highest!