Luke 2_1-14 What can contain God
I have this present I want to give to a friend of mine. But I can’t just give it to him like this. It needs to be put into a box. It needs to be all nicely wrapped and on show, so it looks like a present from me. I have a few boxes here. Let’s see. (try fitting into the boxes). Oh no, the boxes are just too small; perhaps if I just push a little harder and squeese it into the biggest of the boxes. There is just no way it can fit…oops, now I’ve broken it!
Tonight is Christmas Eve when we celebrate Jesus’ birth. And part of celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is to give and receive presents; to place gifts into boxes, wrap them and either put them under a Christmas Tree or give them to people we love and care for…belongs we have the right size box that is!
What size box would it have to be to contain Jesus who is God? How big would it have to be? In the gospel of John, we are given some glues, he writes “I the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” The whole universe was created through Jesus. Everything that is in existence is smaller than God; that means, he is very big. Let’s try and measure just how big God may be, to see what size of box we would need, if we were to wrap him up as a gift. 1. Here is a picture of the earth, its circumference is 40, 000 km’s, that’s big, but God is bigger. 2. Here is a picture of our solar system which is 5, 913, 520, 000 km’s across from the sun to Pluto, big, but God is bigger.
3. Here is a picture of just part of the known universe. One of those bright dots is our solar system. Scientists say the universe is immeasurable, but if we were to try, it would be about 46 Billion light years across! Now if light travels at 186, 282 miles per second, you do the sums! That’s big, but God is bigger! Work out what size box you would need to wrap God…you just can’t. God is immeasurable, unknowable and beyond our understanding.
All things were created through him, so he is beyond creation. Yet tonight we hear something astonishing, something remarkable that is announced by the angel of the Lord “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you…[or this is the box you will find him in]…a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Jesus Christ the Lord, through whom the whole universe was created; the Son of God, who was, who is and who is to come, the biggest of big, is so small and venerable, that he can be wrapped in cloths and be lying in a manger. The angel said “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” The good news is that Jesus came to us so small, that Mary could hold him in her arms; that we too can hold Jesus in our heart through faith. The great joy for us is that Jesus came to us so harmless that shepherds could dare to come near, that we too can dare to come to him and be touched by his love and forgiveness. He came for all people, so that even three wise men traveled from afar just to bring him gifts; so that we too, no matter where we live in response to Jesus we may raise our holy hands to him in prayer, praise and thanksgiving.
This is wonder and amazement of Christmas, that God would become one of us in baby Jesus. That God, who is big enough to fill the universe, is small enough to fit in a box, the size of a manger. The good news of great joy of his coming is that he was born as a child, as one of us, so that nothing can separate us from the love of God; neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation. For he is our present, our gift, our Lord and our salvation, sent to us with love from God.