Handel’s Messiah popularized these lines: “for unto us a child is born.” We need to hear afresh every Christmas. Every child holds a great promise of new things to come. Why do we need promises?
We have experienced so much darkness in recent times. The symptoms of this darkness are readily associated with COVID-19. Yet it is much deeper than that. The darkness that has invaded us is the divisiveness that makes it increasingly difficult to see anything good in people who do not agree with us.
At Christmas, we are reminded of a child who brought light into the world; the light that darkness could not overcome (John 1:5). We are challenged to welcome this child once again. The renewal of our relationship with Christ reminds us that Christ is not a private entity. He dwells in our inner sanctuary in the same manner that he dwells in the inner sanctuary of those who are different from us.
If we fail to see Jesus in others, it is because we have allowed his presence to diminish in us. Christmas dares us to excavate the debris in our hearts and rediscover Jesus who lies hidden.
The words of Alexander Pope are significant in this regard: “What does it profit me if Jesus is reborn in thousands of cribs all over the world and not reborn in my heart?”
Christmas is about spiritual sight. It is about seeing God in the insignificant child, in our hearts and in others.