Vicar’s Reflection: Advent 3, 16th December 2018
UNICEF estimates that an average of 353,000 babies are born each day around the world. The latest figures for New Zealand are from 2015, when we averaged 167 babies born every day. There is a sense that childbirth is an every-day ordinary human experience. Yet for each family involved, for the parents and the child born it is a unique and special event. As we prepare for Christmas and our celebration of the birth of Jesus we need to acknowledge that it was just another ordinary birth and Jesus was just another ordinary baby boy. This is one of the great strengths of Christianity. There is a strong heritage in the story of Jesus emphasising that he was “one of us”, born into a human family that had to be recorded in a Roman census, born at a particular time in history and place in geography. These realities about Jesus mean no-one can accuse Christians of having some fantasy figure at the centre of our faith. Jesus grew to become an extraordinary person who when fully disclosed to us was revealed to be the Son of God. His contemporaries and those who have come to know him later recognise this extraordinary aspect of Jesus Christ. Amidst all the ‘hype’ of Christmas shall we remember our ordinary Saviour who calls us to live with kindness, respect and love towards every person, every day, in every place. This is the one for whom John the Baptist prepared the way.
. Alex Czerwonka