He’s grown, that baby… in a supermarket shortly after Christmas, I heard two shoppers and a member of staff calling out to one another asking if they had each had good Christmases. The consensus was that yes, they each had, but it was over so quick; all that preparation for just one day they said.
For just one day; to coin a well-known phrase, Jesus is for life not just for Christmas – well known it might be, but nonetheless important for it. I’ve written before on the hope that Jesus does not get packed away with the Christmas decorations; in fact, for Pop Up Church at Littleport High School the first week back in January we took in a fake Christmas tree and timed the students to see how quickly they could dismantle it. Half the tree had individually attached branches yet the winner was just 12 seconds though they were a team of three. The Jesus Point being have we packed away Jesus just as quickly?
Every Sunday in the Church year has a specific name intended to remind us of how Christ did not remain an infant, but grew to adulthood and started his ministry. And the gospels themselves cover something of Christ’s growing up too, notably when he’s aged twelve and Mary and Joseph discover he’s missing from their group travelling home. They find him in the synagogue and his reply to their scolding is “where did you think I’d be other than in my Father’s house?”
I wonder then if Jesus’ growing up is less about him and more about challenging us? challenging us to release him from the Bethlehem stable and allow him to guide, lead, cajole us along in the adventure of faith? By the time this magazine is printed quite a number of days will have passed after Christmas; we’ll have started Lent and be leading up to the events of Easter. The adult Christ has by then disturbed the powerful, given hope to the poor and presented those who believed fully in their ability to see and hear that perhaps, perhaps not. That they couldn’t see and hear anything like as well as they thought and actually it was the physically blind and deaf who got the point first. Like I said, Jesus’ growing up is less to do with him and much more to do with us and our response to him. Are we willing to let him grow up and lead us every day?
Wherever we are on the adventure of Faith there’s something happening at St George’s (and elsewhere in Littleport Churches Together too) where you can find out more. Come along because you’ll be made very welcome.