Re: A Christmas Message

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Dec 24 2005 - 18:12:59 EST

I'd forgotten that. For another hymn verse in a similar vein, here's Christina Georgina Rossetti (in the old Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal #36 - the version in the Episcopal hymnal is a bit different.)

            Heaven cannot hold him,

            Nor earth sustain;

            Heaven and earth shall flee away

            When he comes to reign;

            In the bleak midwinter

            A stable place sufficed

            The Lord God Almighty

            Jesus Christ.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: George Murphy
  To: Michael Roberts ;
  Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 4:19 PM
  Subject: Re: A Christmas Message

  In line with Michael's message, this verse from one of Luther's Christmas hymns (Vol.53 of Luther's Works, p.291):

              Ah Lord, the maker of us all!

              How hast thou grown so poor and small,

              That there thou liest on withered grass,

              The supper of the ox and ass?

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Michael Roberts
    Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:53 PM
    Subject: A Christmas Message

    Something I wrote for our church

    Something small for Christmas

    The best things always come in small packages. We often think biggest is best, but the two best things there are both began as something totally miniscule. Both are well known, but one more known than the other, both are almost totally incredible and I cannot decide which is the more incredible. Yet many an atheist will regard one as totally and utterly true and the other as a stupid fairy tale. I, as a Christian, totally accept the one and regard the other as almost absolutely certain. Yes, I am talking in riddles but then Jesus and many of the Old Testament prophets sometimes did as well!


    So what are these two miniscule items?


    The smaller of the two minute things is the universe at the point of its formation some 13,000,000 years in the event commonly called the Big Bang. As astrophysicists and cosmologists have sought to work out the history of the universe and going back as far as they can, they found that at the beginning the whole mass of the universe was concentrated in a speck of infinitesimally small size. They don't argue about this but are not sure exactly when and estimates of the time it occurred is between 10 and 15 billion years ago and the favoured time today is about 13 billion. From that point, marking the beginning of time and space, the point expanded and cooled and after three minutes had cooled to a thousand million degrees. Much later stars and galaxies were formed and thus we end up with the vast universe we know today (or rather hardly know). The whole picture is mind-boggling and almost unbelievable but that is what scientists have uncovered. There is no reason to reject this and it has been well-described by Bill Bryson in A short history of nearly everything. However, it has to be said some atheists try to present this as proof that God doesn't exist, which is nonsense. The Bible is simply not bothered about the scientific details but in many places puts the fact of God as creator in wonderful poetic ways as in the first chapter of Genesis.


    The larger of the two things is the baby Jesus, whose official birthday we celebrate this month. There is something equally mind-boggling, God the creator of everything - and the originator of the Big Bang - "shrunk" to become a little human baby to sort out the follies of the human race. Too often at Christmas we only think of the birth and its trappings (most later fabrications) and make it a children's story in the worst sense. The heart of the Christmas message is summed up by John at the beginning of his gospel, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" i.e. God a.k.a. the Word, had become a human baby. Luke (chap 2 vs 12) gave the reason, "for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord". Note he did not say to be moral teacher and a jolly one at that, but a Saviour, which is far more and something we can only grasp through Jesus' death and resurrection.


    Just two little things to remember this Christmas and far more mind-blowing than anything else.

Received on Sat, 24 Dec 2005 18:12:59 -0500

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Dec 24 2005 - 18:14:32 EST