Holding our recently born grandson in my arms last week reminded me how fragile life is, and how vulnerable and dependent we all are. He lay peacefully in my arms, oblivious to the world that awaits him.
Sadly, many families will be reminded of the fragility of life this Christmas in far harsher ways. Our spiralling road-toll included someone they loved, taken too soon. Drought and bushfire claimed homes, livelihoods and life itself. A volcano wakes from sleep and overcomes the lives of adventurous and curious souls. Life can change in an instant in all sorts of ways and we are faced with our fragility and vulnerability. We are not as fearlessly independent and impervious to what life brings to us as we tell ourselves and as we try to convince others.
Into our fragile, vulnerable inner and outer worlds God speaks at Christmas. He speaks in person, in the baby named Jesus lying in his mother Mary’s arms.
Imagine that – God making himself vulnerable to and dependent on us for a time, so that we might discover it is safe to become vulnerable to him and to depend on him to help and save us. Jesus invites us to look to him and rely on him – for love, forgiveness, inner peace, and hope for life that stretches beyond our time on this earth into forever.
Christmas is not about masking our vulnerabilities and fears. That is precisely where God meets us on Christmas Day – in a fragile vulnerable baby resting in his mother’s arms. Trusting him with our fears, weaknesses, and yes, our sins, may dent our human pride and self-sufficiency, but leads to the inner peace we long for, and that the angels sang about.