Sunday, December 13, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas (Day One – Jesus)

ON THE FIRST day of Christmas my True Love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree.
That partridge is Jesus of the Nativity, and the pear tree is seen either as an allusion to the Nativity or to his cross. I’ll focus on the latter image.
The Father in heaven sent to planet earth,
The Incarnation by a divine conception and birth,
He came to earth to show women and men,
That to live is to live in him as born again.
Birth and death are bookends of the Christ. So it is fitting that the final line of all the verses finishes in the contemplative strophe.
Our True Love sent us dual gifts on the first day of Christmas: a mere infant who would become the Saviour, and a Saviour who would become our Lord and King.
Birth implies death,
A life well lived in all its parts,
That was Jesus’ life,
The Saviour of human hearts.
Jesus’ birth implies as much about our salvation as his death on the cross actually does. That the Father would send himself, an emissary of God, in his only begotten Son, to be a vulnerable human being like us, is astonishing. That he would bear himself and hold himself open, as to give of himself in such a way, as to give himself to us; for us!
Jesus’ birth is the Advent of the Forgiveness of Sin; the Father’s Restorer of Creation. Once the baby was born, the coming of God into the world — not to condemn the world, but to redeem it — the process of redemption was set in motion. This little baby, who would grow into an unassuming and curious boy, who would learn a carpenter’s apprenticeship, and who would practice that craft, would, within a few decades, take the mantle of World’s Messiah — to which he had been born to hold.
Jesus’ death is the Fulfilment of God’s Indelible Promise; what God has created remains at God’s interminable disposal. Creation is God’s and nothing can split creation asunder from the Godhead. What he created is ever at his grasp and retention. God, and only God, could own what God eternally owns. So we are his! There’s to be no fear. Nothing we can do can separate us from him, because of Christ.
Jesus’ death, together with his birth; the tree to which the partridge perches.
On the first day of Christmas my True Love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree.
We are forever forgiven.
And then, before Jesus, was John… the second day of Christmas (coming next).
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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