What is God?
Can we imagine God, can we relate to God?
Is he an old white man on a cloud?
Is he everything, all realities, all substance, everything, everywhere, ever?
look around and at the stars, God, look at the ground, see an ant. Look in a microscope and see God, look at a mountain, see God, look at the stars and infinity, see God.
that’s the physical realm in every realm God is present, God is in every thought we have, in every prayer, in every breath.
God knew you before you were born. The list is endless, where God is, and I mean that literally.
The problem is, anything big enough to be God, that I could imagine would not be God.
If infinity is real god is in and of the infinite, if its not God is the boundless holder of a defined reality
God is unimaginable. Too big too vast. We cant get our heads around him.
How do we fixed in time and space love a thing not fixed, that’s in all time and all space? Whenever you imagine a fixed point he runs away, in infinity
How do we love that God, when we try and put our arms around him, try and enclose him with love and make him ours, he slips away somehow? We know we don’t know him, we know our tiny part? How can we love something that is so far removed from us, how can we love a thing that in almost every way is incomprehensible, too perfect for us, a thing that cannot be less than perfect, that our imperfection cannot meaty with, how can that love our imperfection?
in so many ways something that we can’t even begin to know to comprehend? The answer to so many questions we don’t even know to ask. The bible talks about a fearing God, that is an entirely appropriate response for a thing so big, so vast so powerful. But how do we bring that close, into our mundane lives? How do we make that God part of everything we do?
Today, God gave us a way to do so , as of today we can, today he has made himself a newborn baby, even more? a small defenceless refugee baby
On the run from a despot, in meagre surroundings a long way from home.
Mary is a long way away from her mum, and support system, and as clueless as any new parent might be. Truly as defenceless and threatened as any baby might be, truly exposed to the mess of it all.
Any mother knows that regardless of what mess we are in babies need protection and love and care.
He lays wrapped in swaddling and just like any other baby and needs all the things a newborn needs.
We can all love a baby, we can relate to those needs, we can put our arms around a baby. We want to protect a baby, we don’t fear babies.
But this baby, this one is different
Promised, and prophesied by all scripture, like our reading by Isaiah today 500 years before and more recently promised to mary by an angel
This baby they look down on is God.
All babies are gifts, all are known to God.
But this baby is God. He is God, everything that God is, is now enclosed in the diameter, in the physical space that is taken up by the object the size of a small baby.
From the unimaginable to the most helpless object in the world. A new-born baby.
So God has gone from so vast we cannot imagine, to a thing we can all relate to, either has been one, or have had one, or met one. A baby. That’s how small and defenceless God has made himself.
From something that holds everything ever in itself, to a thing holding our finger as the first thing it can focus on and grasp as an object in space.
But why, why has God decided to do this? God doesn’t do accidents or mistakes?
So why has he done this?
Be assured, Everything about this scene is deliberate, the deliberate action of God. To decide to become fully human while remaining fully God. In God maths are his, so there’s not two halves but two wholes. Fully God and Fully Human. But make no mistake there’s no mistake in this scene. This tiny baby is God, from everything everywhere to a thing as limited to time and space as a baby.
But why God, why this way, and why at all.
Why, the answer is because everything in this scene screams hope.
Hope for everyone, he has done this, in this way to bring hope in your lives.
Why hope? because here is the greatest thing ever, in this place, and it shows wherever you are God not only can be here but is liable to place himself there. Hope because however bad it gets, you know God isn’t worried about getting his hands dirty, he’s been in bad places himself and knows what it’s like.
Hope because this proves that God loves you enough to come here to know you in whatever mess our lives are and call you a friend.
This god isn’t going to write a book, give you a set of instructions and wander off. He’s going to join you where it’s messiest. In amongst the dung, literally and figuratively. This child is the flickering candle in the darkness that has not been overcome by darkness. Proof that darkness can never overcome his light, proof that nothing that happens in this life is beyond his experience.
This baby knows you, every single one of you, and when he reaches thirty is going to say and do things that will shake the world and turn every power structure on its head. He’s already started doing that just by being born like this. Every king of this world has just been put into perspective, every power in this life the same. They got usurped in their power by a defenceless baby, and that shows what power in our lives amounts too. They have limits, this baby does not. This baby breaks the shackles any power may have over us, and that’s why we call him lord and nothing else.
This child is both the object hoped for and hope itself, this child goes on with us forever as he sleeps, and looks up with eyes that cannot yet focus on the eyes of his mother. All ending events are no longer endings, but steps on a journey of love with the source of love.
We as Christians are people of Hope because we know we go on over the horizon, nothing is permanent, every pain is transitory and a briefest second of eternity. Everything will be made whole by a baby in an animals water trough. This fact changes everything, so we are loved by God enough to die for, and his dying opens up a place where we know nothing in this life is more than a scratch on our journey into an eternal relationship with God. Nothing can ever affect your value again because this baby which is God, has decided to die for you, so you can never die again. That’s how long he wants to love you for, forever.
Simply by being an object in time and space, God had broken the shackles of time and space for all of us. Our lives are forever imbued with hope, by this child’s arrival, this, moment was the moment hope became a reality, where hope became more than a wistful pipe dream, or a wishful idea based on nothing more than a sunny outlook. Our lives are not shackled by sin and our brief struggle with little or no point to our tiny spark. Our lives are now predicted, made, valued, and cared for enough to die for by a God that joined us. He proved all that today.
God made himself real in our reality, and in doing so he made hope a reality, for all that follow this child in this life and the next.
He is here to be our salvation, and salvation simply means being made whole, all our brokenness is gone from this moment. One day we will all be without all the things that hold us back, pain, anger, illness, cruelty, and even death is defeated by a baby. Despair is gone, we can never despair or be without hope, because this morning Mary can pick him up and show him, love.
This morning hope is a reality, and therefore so much more than just a hope. Hope is a dream, god made that hope real. The difference between a dream and a reality is a and his plan is now ours.
We can never be lonely ever again. As we pray today, we know that this child is still with us every step of the way, and we can talk to this child through prayer. Ending loneliness forever, because
We can never be alone because he is with us every step of the way and we can share in this so easily? He can talk to us, and direct us, the sure and certain hope, as Paul says
All we have to do, is follow him, today, and this morning 2000 years ago,
he came to show us how.