Christmas Eve: Christ is born into the darkness of this world. Mary and Joseph, a handful of shepherds, the sages from the Orient, maybe no one has understood the dimension of the birth of this little child. All human, rational wisdom must surrender here at the manger. Even more the mind or the brain is not at all capable of understanding what is happening here and who lies in the manger. This is as if you wanted to listen with your eyes and to see with your ears. That won’t work. Faith in Christ is born in the heart. Our hearts understand what our minds cannot believe. Where our minds only see a helpless newborn and filth and poverty, our hearts see the essential.
Only who can (still) believe like a child can recognize God in the child in the manger. Don’t let yourselves be fooled by shine and glamor, by luxury and prosperity, by a flawless, clean skin and a pretty face. These are outward appearances, which get many Likes in a superficial Facebook and Instagram world, but which distract from the essential. The essential is invisible to the eyes. And this essential is exemplified by Christ, because God has taken shape in him.
Love, peace, goodness, justice are given a new meaning by Jesus and outshine everything what we have known so far. Love means for us “birds of a feather flock together”, for him “love your enemies”. Peace means for us armistice, for him “my peace I give you”. Goodness means for us “I do something for you, you do something for me” for him “if someone asks you for your shirt, give him also your coat”. Justice means to us “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, for him “I forgive you, don’t sin no more in the future”.
What had begun as the birth of a little boy in a dark backyard of history became after Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to a world religion. As an Olympic torch is passed from nation to nation, the fire of faith sets the hearts of many people around the world on fire. As the Universe is expanding continuously after the Big Bang, the message of God who wants himself to reconcile with the humans is spreading continuously.
But the physicists assume that after the Big Bang the Universe contracts itself again. What the scientists predict for the universe in a few billion years is already true today for the Christian faith. It is oppressive to see how the Christian faith becomes less important. I wish I had a patent, but I did not.
Perhaps the structures of the Church first must fall apart until the humans can ask new for God again. Perhaps we first must fail and break in personal crises until we are capable again to see the essential. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
I remember the Sermon of the Mount. How careless Jesus simply trusted in God our Father. Whatever happens, we are in God’s hand.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt 6:31-34)