This morning, I asked some children from Victoria School what they would do to celebrate the biggest event in all history. Where would they hold the party? Whom would they invite? What would they come as?
Well, if our little dears had been God, we would have ended up with Jesus coming to earth in Buckingham Palace, or perhaps Kidscape, with Justin Bieber and New Direction as the VIP guests. Oh, and He would have come as an alien. What a party.
When God really did come to earth, when the One beyond time and space broke into our world, He came to a cave in a little-known town called ‘Bethlehem,’ which was about as famous as Potten End. He came as a powerless baby, and the only people there were his mother Mary and her husband. Other than them, the only witnesses were animals. Hardly A-list celebrities, and neither a spot of bling nor a Power Ranger in sight.
The Collect for this Sunday illustrates the paradox of the baby born of a homeless woman in a cave, who will yet ultimately be our judge. Unlike on celebrity panel shows, such as Britain’s Got Talent, the X-Factor or whatever’s in vogue for now, when He judges us there will be no points for showing off, and no reward for fame or wealth. God’s standards are the standards of a dirty baby born in a cattle-trough, and the reward is reserved for those who can show Him the sort of love His mother did that night.