As Episcopalians Christmas is a critical feast for us theologically.More than many streams of Christianity, Anglicans (what we are called worldwide) emphasize the central importance of God coming among us in the person of Jesus.This doctrine is called the Incarnation.We believe that creation is good, so much so that God chose to enter it as a human person to experience life as we do.Fully human and fully divine, Jesus shows us what it is like to be a fully integrated human being in God’s image.
There is no experience of suffering that was foreign to Jesus. This includes political displacement as a refugee. While on Christmas night we rightly celebrate his birth, we note he was relegated to the stable because an Empire demanded a census to determine who was a citizen.Rather than going home to Nazareth, the newborn baby set out, carried by his family, to a foreign country hundreds of miles away to seek shelter.This, to avoid the fearful anxiety of an ruler bent on killing him.
God in Jesus experienced the travail of the dispossessed and dislocated.As we gather to celebrate the holy birth, we also reflect on the ways God continues to come among us in those we don’t expect to be bearers of the Light.The Incarnation demands that we seek God in our flesh too. -The Reverend Lisa Hunt, Rector