Before you were born
Luke 2: 21 (NIVUK)
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
I’m going to share quite a deep thing with all of you:
About 1,000 years ago when I was a young man, I met a girl and we kinda liked each other and after quite a few dates, sounding her out in the old multiplex cinema in Clydebank and then asking my dad to buy the engagement ring, we got married. The thing to do, we figured was to have a child. If, like everyone else in those days, the thing to do was to immediately decant to Australia and back pack for a year, we didn’t get the memo. So that’s what we did. We had a child. Which was, in retrospect, terrifying. This little bundle of joy didn’t sleep properly for about the first 23 year and is probably solely responsible for what remains of my hair being grey.
Being a parent is not easy, there isn’t a manual and if there ever was it would vary from child to child. It would be written in Swahili in 0.2 point type.
It is however the most wonderful, amazing unexpected, painful, frustrating and incredible journey you will ever go on. It’s all consuming and you just can’t wait for the next chapter. They tell me having grandkids is kind of the same but you can hand them back. Which is sometimes good for you both.
I was sitting talking with my kid the other night about 2 in the morning. I had just got back from a call somewhere. We were perched on the end of his bed, it’s been blowing a hoolie outside and we are talking nonsense, this grown man of 23 and I just sitting there shoulder to shoulder murmuring into the dark in the early hours of the winter morning.
As we were sitting there I was struck with a simple, incredible truth. I believe this is what alcoholics term “a moment of clarity”. I loved this human being completely. Beyond anything I could ever imagine and I loved him more right there, than I had the day before and the day before that, and, I realised that I would love him even more tomorrow and the next day and the day after that until... well, I (me) just stop.
It came to me that I had loved him long before I had ever even met him, before I had even met his mum, before I had ever even really known who I was.
And you know.
That’s how much I love my son. It’s how Mary and Joseph loved theirs and it’s how God loved his and how he loves you.
God really bless you all this festive tide and may you know you are loved.
There is no greater love
Than the love we have here
Right here in this space
Right here in this place
Where God the Father
And Jesus the Son
Have laid their hands.