The key message of Christmas is that God in Jesus commits to dignifying and transforming human ordinariness, not to fantasies about a super-hero figure or military conquerer, the Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, President of the Methodist Conference in Britain, has declared in his seasonal message.
He writes: “When Jesus Christ came into our world he was more ordinary and human than many expected – both then, and now. The ancient Jews had expected Messiah for a long time, and their expectations increased over time. Older expectations of the coming of a great but essentially human King became anticipation of a more supernatural figure. They expected a mighty warrior who, Superman like, could remove invaders from the land, and purify the Temple with a wave of his hand. Or he would be the perfect Law keeping machine, the immaculate Pharisee.”
A similar note was struck by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams in a Christmas Eve article appearing in The Times newspaper, where he wrote: “[T]he [Gospel] story goes on to say something quite strange and surprising. God steps in to sort it all out. But he doesn’t step in like Superman, he doesn’t even send a master plan down from heaven. He introduces into the situation something completely new – a new life; a human baby, helpless and needy like all babies.”
Read it all here.