What relevance does a baby born in the middle-east a couple of millennia ago have for us now, I ask myself?
There have been just a few people whose memory has survived that long. They clearly all had a profound influence on history. However, we rarely relate back to them and what they’ve taught us on a regular basis. Yet, I think of the influence of this baby every day, as do many others across the world. He only survived 33 years and really only became influential in a small geographical sphere for 3.5 years. He didn’t have any biological children, he didn’t even marry. How extraordinary that his influence lives on!
This baby was named Jesus. As he grew, he proclaimed a message of love, hope, peace, acceptance and reconciliation. Here are a few Jesus’ quotes taken from the Bible (NRSV):
In the end, Jesus’ followers claimed He was God, and when pressed, Jesus didn’t deny it. In fact, that’s what led to his early, excruciating death. It made sense of statements like:
I find such teachings still hold relevance for us right now, here in Australia in 2018. We continue to desire to be at peace with ourselves, our families and friends and with other nations. Learning to love God still leads to learning to love and forgive those around us and also ourselves. And this tends to lead to an abundant life, not without its problems, but with a resilient hope to help us through.
Wishing you all the blessings associated with that obscure, middle-eastern baby this Christmas!
The articles here were written by Peter Andrews on behalf of the Chaplaincy Team from beginning 2023.