When our daughter and son-in-law announced to us back in March that they were expecting a baby, there was no visible sign of the joy to come – apart, that is, from a rather blurry scan photo which looked more like a teddy bear floating in space than a tiny human being!
Over the following months the evidence gradually became clearer as Rachel sent us weekly photos of her growing bump, until finally, at 10pm on October 6th, the little bundle of joy that is our granddaughter Ava, entered into this world. If Pauline and I have seemed a little distracted since then, we hope you will understand and forgive us!
Our experience of the invisible becoming visible reminds me that the same principle lies at the heart of Advent and Christmas. Our invisible God chose to make himself visible to us in the form of a tiny child – Jesus – who would grow up to teach us how to live and love; who would demonstrate the depth of true sacrificial love by dying on a cross so that our broken relationship with God could be restored; and who would prove that he had power over death, by rising back to life again. For 2,000 years, that has been the core of the Christian faith. The apostle John puts it like this, at the start of his Gospel: – ‘No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.’ (John 1:18)
Today, we can see still see God through the body of Jesus – but now his body is not that of a tiny child, or a young man; his body is his Church, scattered throughout the world and tasked with showing God’s love wherever we are. So, this advent season, may you see God in a new way as you reflect again on the Christmas story; and may you be ready to show God’s love in a new way as you respond to his continuing call to make him visible to our broken world.
With our love and prayers
Matthew & Pauline Scott