23rd December 2012

The Cry of Christmas

A few years ago I was doing my dissertation research at Tantur Theological Institute just outside Bethlehem.  One day as I looked in wonder at the rugged hills surrounding the birth town of Jesus, something struck me: in the place which St Augustine called  ‘the holiest spot on earth’ – the first thing to come out of God’s mouth here on earth was a cry, just like all other babies do at their at their birth.

But this was also the cry of the Son of God who in unfathomable humility became a man so we would hear the cry of the Father’s heart more clearly: I love you and I want to save you from your sins and give you eternal hope.

He continues to cry out to us even today.  Ironically it may be even harder to hear Him in Christmas time because of all the distractions that come our way – but we need to stop and find the time to pray and listen to what His Spirit is telling us.

God ‘cries’ too when He sees that the very feast which celebrates His closeness to us and His rescue plan for all humanity, is for so many just another pagan celebration.

In this Christmas and New Year may we once again personally hear the cry of the Lord in the deep recesses of our heart as ‘deep cries out to deep’ (Psalm 42:7). And may we reach out to a world which is ‘crying out’ for meaning, truth, healing and real love so that their cry may meet the cry of the Lord who ‘sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world but to save it through Him’ (Jn 3:17).