December 20th – Peter Pan Jesus



I was talking to a colleague of mine, the Vicar of the village in which I work, who said that he gets exasperated that every year the world comes to pay homage to a Peter Pan Jesus.I could see and appreciate exactly what he meant. The world loves a Jesus who, like Peter Pan, never grows up. The Western world holds its Christmas card celebrations and speaks of the babe in the manger – even sings of his coming. More people attend church at Christmas time than any other time. Even the hardest of the church critics can be heard to say: “I love all the carols Esmeralda”! Then the time passes, the hangovers disappear, the candle-lit church services give way to the bland electric light – then the spring – and another year goes by. Then comes the Christmas season again, and Lo! the babe is put back in the manger, the wise men still travel; the shepherds still visit; the angels still sing – but the living, adult Jesus, the embodiment of God’s kingdom and spirit, declaring war on the powers of darkness, demonstrating the divine authority – taking onto himself the sins of the world, being crucified, and then risen and ascended in glory – all that and more, is all ignored! We are back to the Baby Jesus. That’s a Jesus the world can handle! One you can put back in the cupboard until next year.For millions the magic of Christmas is but an expression of our fondness for the Peter Pan fairy tale. No more than that. It’s part of all the seasonal trimmings, like Father Christmas, robins and holly. I am not knocking Christmas celebrations.I enjoy them too much myself to do that. But I am crying out to the audiences at those tinsel- spangled nativity plays … “You’ve seen the baby in the stable …now see the man bestriding this earth – living as no man lived – speaking as no man ever spoke – doing the things only God can do, and dying on a cross for the sins of the world – risen, ascended in glory. Before whom every knee will bow. See the real Jesus.”
Here would be a good starting point.This advent. It’s a snatch from John Chapter 9 v. 5, but you can read the whole chapter today:
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
A Prayer: This day, Lord, give me enough light in my soul to see Jesus.

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