But in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also created the world. Hebrews 1:2
In the arena of diplomacy, correct protocol is vital. If an ambassador visits a foreign country, he or she expects to confer with a person of equal standing. To consult with a person of higher rank would demean the host country, while dealing with an officer of lower degree would belittle the ambassador and his country. An equal must always meet with an equal.
Throughout history, God had often communicated with His people through His special emissaries, the prophets. These men spoke the Word of God and conveyed God’s decrees to the Judeans. While they acknowledged that the prophets were holy men, the Judeans were comforted by the assurance that God’s “ambassadors” were folks like themselves. With the birth of Jesus Christ, this “comfortable relationship” between the people and God’s messengers changed radically. God did not send another “holy man” to deliver the Good News of His salvation to His people; He sent, instead, His own Son, equal in all respects to God the Father. This was, my dear brothers and sisters, a “breach of protocol” by any standard.
Think of the honor and dignity God has showered on all of us! He wasn’t content to send a messenger, God sent His Son! At a time when we were sinful and separated from God by our own actions, He chose to humble Himself and come down to us. Since we wouldn’t step out of the shadow and into the Light, the Light came to us! Christ didn’t arrive on earth as a majestic King with His retinue of followers. He came as a defenseless child. Jesus was not born as a prince in a palace, but as a Son of a humble mother in a cave fit only for animals. Since we proved to be unable to meet God on His level, God in His love for all people, lowered Himself to our level.
What is your response to Jesus Christ? He stripped Himself of pride, dignity, honor and finally, on the Cross, of life itself in order to bestow these very same gifts upon us all. Shouldn’t we all the more worship, praise, glorify and thank Him for His infinite goodness, seeking to imitate His humility, love, mercy and compassion?
Wherever Christmas finds you, please try to come to church either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day and present your gift of love and thanksgiving through your presence and prayers to Christ.
+ Fr Christopher P Foustoukos