background image


For Christmas
Sunday 24th December 2017 @ 5:25 pm

 I have been trying to think of the right thing to share … a poem, a hymn, a soundbite of spiritual insight … and nothing has been there.

But I can’t resist.Because, like the Borg, resistance [to sharing myself] is futile. That is the joy and delight of the world we live in under the infotech revolution. Binary realities of black or white are gone, and we don’t live in a world of grey, we live in a world of glorious new colours, shades, shapes and sizes.

Standing at the precipice of another Christmas, and peering round the corner toward another new year, simply serves to remind me that I could not have foreseen what the past 12 months held, and how foolish I would be to guess the next.

As a man of faith, the question always comes to me at this time of the year – which cliché of these days do I adopt, transfigure, transform or transfer to my lived realities at Christmas?

I have always detested clichés – especially those that breed in religious communities. Therefore, hoping it is not read as trite, let me share one thought that I am reaching into for life and light at this Christmastide.

‘Homo sum, humani nihil, a me alienum puto’ (The Roman poet Terence)

‘I am human, and nothing human is alien to me.’

With the narratives of incarnation sweeping through our carol services and readings, we find it easy to remember the miracle of God in skin. We welcome it, and we share the verbal hope of it. And that’s it. It’s a nice story.

I rather suspect we usually sweep over the realities.The realities, that in this founding narrative, God in human skin, was just like your baby.

If your baby had dark skin. And wet itself. And cried when you wanted to sleep. And cooed and gurgled and spluttered and spewed. In doing so, this baby broke the divide between the divine and the human so that nothing human would be alien.

Human can never say to Divine, ‘you don’t understand!’

This is divine life, in human life.

And so no human should be removed, distanced, ignored, forgotten. Because divine life is there.

No human should be treated with contempt, scandalised, brutalised or shut out. Because divine life is there.

No human should be mistreated, enslaved, colonised or ignored. Because divine life is there.

No human should be diminished, suppressed, devalued or demeaned. Because divine life is there.

God in human skin, calls us toward the other. Whatever the colour, sexuality, race or gender. Whatever the past present or future, may you see divine life in those around you this Christmas.


To leave a comment, click here