The Nativity of the Lord
Christmas Day, Friday, 25 December 2020
The Light of the World
Reading: John 1: 1 – 14
Scripture: “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 9 & 14)
Reflection:The year 2020, as difficult as it has been, has taught us several lessons, and have reinforced some truths that hitherto we may not have fully absorbed or understood. These truths and lessons which speak to the glory of God our Father and how relevant and essential He is to our existence, have helped us appreciate the gift from God that we celebrate at Christmas.
We celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ to mankind, using the themes in the Advent wreath. And, especially at this time and based on our recent experiences, we are reminded of certain truths:
He is love, and the ultimate manifestation of His love is in the fact that He sent His Son to die for us. His love is an all-embracing love that assures us that we belong to the One true God.
He is hope, the hope that we need as our anchor whenthe troubles of life overwhelm us. This is the hope that gives us the confidence to declare His name in the certain assurance of His love.
He is peace, the peace that provides the inner calm and the absence of fear that we His children rely on as the rudder to help us navigate the difficult waters of life. The peace that comes from knowing that, as His children, we are loved and cared for and that His grace and His peace are sufficient for all our needs.
He is joy, the joy we experience in knowing and trusting Him. We have no need to be anxious for He is near and because we enjoy His grace and favour, we can be joyful in the midst of suffering, despite the challenges we face in this world. But, more than anything, we have joy in the hope of eternity with Him.
He is light and, on this special day, who can forget God’s wondrous gift to us – the Baby born in Bethlehem to bring light to our dark world and peace to all? For us, our celebration of the Incarnation began on Christmas Eve when some of us gathered in our respective worship spaces (most probably watched a live stream) in the dark, to sing and celebrate the breaking into the world of a new kind of light – our God who gave up His power and glory to become a helpless baby and come to earth to live with us in the midst of our darkness, to prove to us that we are loved and to show us that, no matter how deep our sorrow or dark our deeds, there will always be light – light that will not abandon us.
In this dark world, torn apart by the ongoing corona virus pandemic, violence, cruelty, hunger, poverty and hate, there is light – light that will not be extinguished, no matter how fearful or dire the circumstances. The Light of Christ can shine in any place and brighten the darkest corner; it burns unfailing and unwavering, and directs our paths, time and time again. John assures us that although the darkness is around us, we need not be afraid for we are not alone as the Word is made flesh in the many acts of kindness and love and dwells among us in the fullness of grace and truth. As we also carry the gift of God within us, let us bring forth this gift in messages of hope and acts of love to each other and show that the one true God of peace, hope, joy, love and light has come into the world and is with us!
Meditation: In Bethlehem, we find redemption from our past and our pain. In Bethlehem, we find grace, mercy, love, hope, acceptance and restoration.
Prayer: Almighty God, as we recall the circumstances of Your birth and existence here on earth, we thank You for the sacrifices You made for us and live today in full appreciation of Your grace and Your mercy. Amen.
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
25 December 2020