Thursday 9 January 2020

Advent 4 Nativity Good guys and bad guys

In the story we hear that an angel comes to Mary to tell her she will be pregnant before she is married. Which was shocking. 

Joe, her fiancé thinking the worst, planned to divorce Mary. But an angel, Gabriel comes to see him to tell him not to do that because this baby is very important. 

Because of the government they had to go to register in Bethlehem (this is a bit like the asylum seekers signing on in Solihull) and I think on Google maps that’s a journey of 3 hours 23 minutes walking without adding the donkey! Once they get to Bethlehem, someone at Premier Inn, gives them room in the carpark because the hotel is full, In the car park there are animals, and Mary goes into labour, some workmen on the night shift, who maybe think they have drunk too much beer see angels and go to see the baby, and some foreigners turn up sometime later with expensive gifts, with a fishy tale about a star. 

We have bad guys in our story too. 

The Romans, Ceasar Augustus, Quirinius, who decided to get everyone to go back to where they were born, to sign up for a census, a bit like our electoral roll, but it was so they could tax them or conscript them into the army.

The religious authorities (boo) who used their power to exact money from people and excluded most people from their religious buildings, unless they could pay.

The king, Herod who lived a sumptuous life in his palace, stole other people’s wives and killed people. 

Interestingly the good guys don’t have money or power and the bad guys have both!

It starts as a story of family crisis. But it’s the way God works. God works in crisis and uses ordinary situations that are transformed. Keep praying. You might have the angel Gabriel turn up!

For those of us who are ordinary and really of no consequence to the government, to royalty and the upper class, to the religious authorities, this Christmas story gives hope, lifting up those of us who don’t feel we have a voice, ordinary people, bringing hope at a time of crisis.

Let’s hope and pray for people in crisis this Christmas and let us be the ones to offer help and hope. To be Gods messengers in a time of crisis and to see situations transformed. 



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