Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Madonna & Child Murillo

English mystic Caryll Houselander wrote that Christ is the shining out of the light of God.   This Christmas we celebrate the anniversary of that first birth of God’s shining light in human form: the saviour of the world as a vulnerable baby who sleeps in a manger reliant on the care of his mother, Joseph and the warming presence of animals.

The story starts simply and ends in puzzling complexity and mystery.  The hope and joy of Jesus’ birth is short-lived indeed.  Everything from that moment on happens to be questioned by those who can’t or won’t believe; or by plans to destroy him, or plots to trick him, by doubters, deceivers and betrayers.   Yet, as theologian Romano Guardini suggested, Jesus’ hope was to be able to gently convey his message to the Jewish people and it was only when he was nearing the end of his ministry did he recognize his fate due to widespread non-acceptance of him by members of the religious mainstream.

The struggles to accept Jesus’ way, truth and light, his divinity, his humanity, his beatitudes, his crucifixion, his resurrection continue today.   He came to give us life everlasting he said, he promised salvation, he promised heaven, he promised peace and he promised that he would be with us until the end of time.  He not only explained that unless we become like children we’ll not enter the kingdom of heaven, he showed us by his own earthly birth, life and death.

The Christ child, who grew to embrace the whole of humanity as God’s children, the light of God, again sleeps quietly, patiently, waiting.

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