As I sit here contemplating the Christmas message, I am reminded that someone once said "the best way to send a message is to wrap it in a person." That's what God did in sending Jesus to us. In Jesus, the Messiah, we receive the message of God's love for us. In Jesus, God's redemptive work continues to transform lives - not just change them, but transform them.
In this context, for one to change means to do something different but to be transformed means to become someone different, a new creature. In Jesus, God Incarnate, "things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made" (BCP, p. 515).
That's the message for us this Christmas, and every Christmas. And that's my prayer for you and those whom you love as we join the shepherds at the manger to "see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us" (Luke 2:15).
These lines from the English hymn writer, Brian Wren, sum it up beautifully:
How can we name a Love that wakens heart and mind,
indwelling all we know or think or do or seek or find?
Within our daily world, in every human face,
Love's echoes sound and God is found, hid in the commonplace.
So in a hundred names, each day we all can meet
a presence, sensed and shown at work, at home, or in the street.
Yet every name we see, shines in a brighter sun:
In Christ alone is Love full grown and life and hope begun.
I'll see you in Church!