Before the Crib

Arthur Middleton
As the forty days of Christmas come to an end on the Feast of Candlemas on 2 February, let us reflect what we see in the Christ-child. The mystery of this child tells us that God cannot be less than us; he must be more. Our under standing is partial and dim, but we know at least that he is greater than us. We grasp for analogies: some people are artists, but God is the great est artist. Some are wise, but he is wisdom itself. Most fre quently, however, we say that God is love, because love is the best thing we know.

Real Incarnation

What do you see when you look at the Christ-child? Let me tell you. It is not the manifestation of God in a person’s life. It is the Incarnation of God in a personal life. This baby is a real Incarnation of a pre-existing Divine Person. He who existed with God eternally before all worlds were made; he who in the beginning was the Word and who was with God and who was God; at a certain time in history, for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He who shared the divine nature with his Father decided to unite that divine nature with our human nature in order to redeem this alienated and spiritually distressed world.

It is not the case of a highly favoured individual being raised to the status of divinity. It is the case of the only begotten Son becoming other than he was, while continuing at the same time to be himself. ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’

Suggestions for prayer

At Christmas we tell people a child is born and his name is Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. He is the Light to lighten the Gentiles. And let me give you some suggestions for prayer.

‘Pray for those who call themselves Doctors of the Law, that their spirit becomes a humble and poor spirit. Pray that all nations come to my Light and that the vengeance eating their hearts be ripped off so that I may wrap their hearts in my Peace. Pray that East makes peace with the West and the North with the South. Pray that this excessive pride and haughtiness that seized certain shepherds of Mine be replaced by humility. Pray that they may understand what I meant when I said, ‘Anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant’. ND