Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Perhaps Christmas is one of the few times when God feels real. It’s easy for us to allow God to become distant, far off, external and remote. But not at Christmas. At Christmas we speak in hushed tones of incarnation, of God slipping on human skin and dwelling among us, of God moving into our neighbourhood.
Suddenly, God stops being distant and becomes immediate, here and now, in flesh and blood.
Our flesh and blood.
God becomes human in Jesus and experiences life. All of life. All the good bits and all the hard bits.
Rather than being apart and separate, God is very much with us.
But why? Why would God do that? Why would God come and inhabit our lives?
So that we do not need to be afraid.
Nobody said life would be easy, but when we live without fear everything changes. Jesus faced the same difficulties we all face so we can be confident He can provide support in our times of need. That changes everything.
God with us,
God who in Jesus lived our life,
who felt and feels all we feel,
remind us of your presence
when we feel you are far away
when we feel alone
when we feel tempted to wander off.
Help us to live fearless lives
for we are always in your love.
Stewart Cutler is an ordinand at the Scottish Congregational & United Reformed Church College.