O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse.

‘There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse’.

On the 17th we heard  ‘O Wisdom ,you came forth from the mouth of the Most High’. That we can all readily believe, that is right and fitting. But that this Word of God should take flesh in Mary, should actually be of our stock, be of the stock of Jesse that is what the Church calls on us to reflect about today. Yes, Eternal Wisdom proceeds from the mouth of the Most High, but he proceeds also from the bodies of several generations of human beings. He becomes like us in every way except He is without sin. And lest we be tempted to forget that, even on Christmas Night His ancestry is recalled. Many find the solemn singing of the Genealogy tedious and boring but it contains a message of great hope for us, great reassurance, great comfort. Jesus is not afraid or ashamed of his past. No one need be omitted from it ,even those men and women whose lives were somewhat unsavoury if not down right evil, they all went into the forming of his flesh and because of that it is possible for them to partake in His Divinity. In His body He was put to death and through that body He opens up the way to life for us. If He was prepared to come into a world like that , then we can be confident that He is prepared to come to our world, our hearts, with all their accumulated weight of sin. We can be confident that He will come to us as we are, with all our history. Everything that has gone into making us who we are at this moment, everything that contributes to our realization that we are in need of a Saviour is a cause of rejoicing and we can unashamedly recount it because it highlights the graciousness of God in coming to deliver his people.

We worry and fret about our world which seems to be fast moving towards its own destruction but perhaps we need to be people of hope, people who look with different eyes, people who dwell with God’s Word and look at things with God’s eyes. Perhaps more than ever before our world is actually ready for the Saviour, precisely because it is in most need of Him. There is an extraordinary restlessness in our world, nothing satisfies. The more people have the more they realise that this is not what they are looking for. Their hearts ache for they know not what. But we know, we know that their restless longings are genuine, their sense of in completeness is real and that it is only God who will make them whole. So instead of being despondent as we look around us, let us get excited about the opportunity that is ours.. Wherever any individual is at, at this moment, that is the manger in which Jesus wishes to be born, that is the manger in which it is possible for Jesus to be born.

If our lives are hidden with Christ in God ,if we are rooted in Him, then we will produce new growth, we will blossom and others will be attracted by our beauty. It is in and through us that Jesus now enters our world. It is our acceptance of our world as it is, our ability to see that it is not beyond Redemption, that will make redemption possible. Let us enter into the heart of Jesus that through us Jesus may enter into the heart of our world.