A Christmas message from the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.
It is something that is indelibly marked on my memory. One of those unforgettable experiences that still makes me so thankful.
I am referring to the birth of our two children; I can still hear their first cry and the feel the sheer wonder of new life. There is something wonderful and innocent about a tiny helpless baby. They bring a smile and reduce most adults to baby noises.
Babies are so vulnerable and helpless, totally dependent on someone to care for them. In time this dependence is challenged and eventually parents have to learn the painful lesson of letting go – it is our role as parents to give them wings and enable them to fly.
As I reflect upon that first Christmas I am staggered by the vulnerability of God. The image I am forced to recognise in this tiny helpless baby is a God who took the most amazing risk.
The mother was a peasant girl and this happened in a lean–to in Bethlehem. There were visitors that must have been confusing. Shepherds who were not the rich and famous and a few strangers from the east.
A great scene for a nativity play but the enormity of what happened can be lost in the tinsel and trappings.
I believe that what happened that first Christmas was a moment that changed the world forever, when God took the amazing risk of declaring his love for the world in a tiny helpless, vulnerable baby.
May the love and vulnerability of God be something we celebrate this Christmas.