--N.T. Wright, from his sermon entitled, "Emperors and Angels"
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Quoting Theology, Christmas Edition: N.T. Wright
"...And remember the story of the shepherds and the manger. We are so used to hearing about it – indeed, most of us never use the word ‘manger’ in any other context – that we often forget the point. The shepherds were told something – or thought they were told something – quite ridiculous: that God’s Messiah, God’s only Son, had been born just up the road. Now how on earth are you supposed to believe that? And what on earth could you do about it? Ah, but they were given a sign: you don’t normally find babies in feeding-troughs, but that’s where this one is. And so they went, and they saw, and they believed, and they worshipped. What’s the equivalent for us today? Well, when you worship the Christ-child for yourself, and learn to open your eyes to the empires and your ears to the angels, you may well wonder whether there’s any point in even trying to do anything about it all. It all seems quite ridiculous. And then you may begin to notice places where there are, so to speak, babies in mangers: places where God seems to have been startlingly at work, in a hospice or a prison or a day-care centre or a play-group, in Bible Study groups, in gospel work going forwards among drug addicts and prostitutes, in campaigns about debt and unjust laws and fair trade, whatever it may be. And then: watch for the empires, listen for the angels, worship the Christ-child – and go for it. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his kingdom shall be established with justice and righteousness from this time forth and for evermore."