For to us a child is born,
As we move through the Christmas season, it is easy for many of us to lose ourselves in the busyness of it all. We can become self-centered, snarky, and nervous about family relationships that are already tense much of the year. Is there anything about this baby in the manger that can really change all that? How do we cope when those family members are up close and at our Christmas dinner table?
In this Isaiah passage, we hear a message of hope. A vulnerable child is born and he will be a Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace. This is a big expectation of a small child.
Moving forward in the story though, we see that this baby will celebrate an important meal with family and friends, some with whom he had a trying relationship. Peter and Judas were both at this table. He knew they did not have his best interests at heart. They were self -absorbed and caught up in other things.
Jesus, in this moment, wasn’t unkind. But, he did tell the truth. He told the group that one of them would deny him and one would betray him. He knew they would hurt him. He understood his vulnerability. He understood the human condition and he understood their vulnerability. Therefore, in love, he focused that evening on teaching his beloved friends and family about servanthood and showing them what love looked like.
Be kind, for even the people who can’t be trusted to look out for our best interests can still be loved.
Be honest, tell the truth about your own vulnerability.
Be forgiving, it is often their vulnerability that makes others hurt us.