As we celebrate the birth of God’s only son Jesus, God Incarnate, it can sometimes be hard to believe that Jesus was sent for each one of us. Sent for mankind -yes….but for me? For me PERSONALLY? To meet me right where I am at…..on my wobbly journeys, in my mess, in my failings, in my hopes and disappointments? Really- for me??
On my Christian journey, I have often been guilty of doubting…..not that God loves us all, but that He could love me as much as everyone else. That His interest is not only in mankind but also in each one of us personally. Rationally I know it, but have I really and truly known it in my heart?
A simple question from a loved one, related to my new (teaching) career, has recently turned my life around : “Is it hard to treat the children fairly? Do you not have favourites in your class?”
It took me only a few seconds to answer with a resounding “NO”: no, I do not have favourites; no, it is not hard to give each one of them the same care and attention; no I have not and will never give up on any one of them.
Don’t get me wrong…..there are days when some of them (often the same ones) can drive me to despair; when it feels like I am pouring love and effort into a bowl with holes in the bottom; when I want to quit and give up on some of them and use the extra energy for others. But actually I would never give up on any one of them: every little face is special, every child loved, every one of them priceless, worth nurturing and investment. Oh yes, it is possible to love and care for thirty little people equally!
If I, a weak, fallible human being, can love my class of children equally and continue pouring into them out of a superhuman, deep sense of commitment to and love for each one of them, then how much more could a perfect, all knowing Abba Father and Creator God love each of us equally, in the good and in the bad?
Oh yes….I suddenly know it deep in my heart: each one of us is one of those shepherds, invited to gaze in awe at that baby in the manger and to rejoice in the promises fulfilled through Him. Yes, He notices each one of us, has time for each one of us, cares and loves each one of us. Equally. No question.
Amen-Lord,I believe. Thanks to thirty little nine year olds.
May you, too, know the truth and joy of the Christmas message this year and always.