In the encounter with Jesus, we realise how radically different the world is and how completely we need to change.
The place of belonging that we are looking for is found when we find where Jesus belongs.
In baptism we surrender to God’s claim on us and enter a vowed relationship and life which will have its ups and its downs but in which God is forever faithful.
In Jesus, the truth about God’s ways and means is brought to light and we are called to so reflect that light that all might be drawn to it.
In the Christ-child we encounter God responding to our suffering and leading us into the promised land of new life.
The particularity of Jesus’s identity scandalises our tribal sensibilities, but our attempts to erase such details in favour of a more “universal” truth inevitably fail to convey the good news of God with us.
God comes to us in unexpected ways, and the break with conventional religious respectability is even more earth-shattering than the break with conventional reproductive biology.
Jesus asks us to assess the legitimacy of any ministry by its transforming and liberating outcomes for the world and its peoples.
Our sure hope of a new future brought to fulfilment in the coming Christ inspires and empowers us to live now in ways which resist the despair and selfishness of our age and anticipate the peace and righteousness of the coming age.
The Advent break in of God in Christ is underway, bringing disruption of a status quo that our world needs to be free of, and liberation from the imprisonment of sin.
Jesus comes to break us free from oppressive understandings of God and of God’s expectations of us.
The global social breakdown of which Jesus speaks is caused by the failure of our old oppressive ways of maintaining peace, but God has promised us a better way on the other side.
Jesus’s perplexing teaching on marriage and singleness calls us into a new network of relationships in which all are fully valued.
The faithful who have gone before us are held securely in the powerful gracious memory of God, where their love and prayers for us live on until we are united with them in resurrection.
Jesus seeks out and embraces the outcasts, taking upon himself the hatred and hostility that had been directed at them.
God invites us into a journey of healing, growth and reconciliation, and values our engagement with that journey far above our individual accomplishments.
God has promised a time of resurrection and renewal, and has given us guidance for living faithfully in the meantime.
Jesus challenges us to bring our lives to where God is active, to share in building the kingdom of God.
When you know yourself truly beloved by God in Christ, you are freed from fear and shame to live fully and generously and courageously.
The cross of Jesus can teach us to recognise the innocence of suffering, and so enable us to recognise our own dependence on God’s mercy and to stop digging our own hells.