Faith Matters

Christmas Reflection: Worth the wait

The birth of Jesus, 'God with us', fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy
The Venerable Brian Harper

DURING Advent, I've been thinking about patience and attitude. Before the birth of Jesus, people waited for a prophecy to be fulfilled that the world would have a Saviour. After the resurrection, people were waiting for their Saviour to return.

In both situations, the waiting continued for many years, and we are still waiting today for that second triumph.

That waiting should not fill us with despair but with hope and that hope, with what we already know about Jesus, Emmanuel, "God with us", will change our attitude and behaviour.

In the New Testament book of James, the writer encourages his readers to change and to not grumble against one another.

He also tells them (and us) to strengthen our hearts. This is not about performing cardiovascular exercises, but it is about strengthening that figurative heart with kindness, love and gentleness – whilst we wait for our Lord to call us home or until he comes in glory.

We celebrate this week because the Messiah came among us and we reflect the promised hope in our lives.

The Venerable Brian Harper,

Archdeacon of Clogher and Rector of Magheracross

Faith Matters