We rejoice in what God does because God saves us. That’s the heart of the gospel. From sin, death and the power of all that is evil, God in Jesus sets us free. God is at work in the world, seeking to remake the world to be a place of justice and peace, where all that is broken and wrong is made whole and right. We rejoice in what God does because God continues to work for the healing of the nations and the wholeness of all people and communities.
The oddity of the faith is especially evident in the Christmas story. God embodies a new way of engaging the world. As God enters into the mission of repair and redemption, God comes not as a mighty warrior, but as a frail child born in fragile circumstances. As we revel in the announcements of Christmas, the sign given is quite startling: God’s way is different. It is hidden in the opposite. God’s way of healing this world is through vulnerability. God pours himself out so that the world would be healed.
The Holy Spirit continues this saving work in the world. All around us, God is doing good things – not just among us, but in the entire world. Though news channels sensationalize violence and destruction, sociologists optimistically remind that violence in this world continues to be in decline.
In our own neighborhoods we see the power of God at work wherever people are brought together in greater understanding, when dividing walls are broken down and in those places where the community is being strengthened. God’s way of healing this world continues to emerge. Sometimes it is especially evident in the community around us. Often it seems to be hidden.
In this Christmas season, may our eyes be opened to see that what began in Bethlehem continues among us, yet today. The Holy Spirit is at work in this world, bringing life to those who struggle, strength to the weak, food to the hungry and wholeness to the broken places. God does all of this while setting us free from sin and death through Jesus.
Photo is a modified image of “Sand Nativity” by Vetto. It is used in accordance to creative commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license.