The mystery of Christmas is a mystery of God in the flesh, but also a mystery of our salvation, of theosis, of our call to be re-made as divine humans. God’s free gift, this is what we are called to, invited to learn to live.
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.
The ways of the kingdom, the ways of the community of the family of God, are different to those we are commonly encouraged to. They are ways of mutuality and encouragement, rather than selfishness and aggressive competition. They are ways that nurture and are for the good of all. They are ways that imitate the manner of Jesus.
As we rapidly approach the New Year and maybe consider New Year resolutions, what is the ONE thing you can do that would be for your good and the good of the community around you? Ask the Lord for his help and support that this one thing may be achieved by you and God together in the New Year.
Photograph of the ceramic plaque depicting the Nativity in the Rosary Way, Aylesford Priory. (c) 2012, Allen Morris