Seeing Past the Glitter…Encountering Christ at Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Not being catholic, I seldom read what the Pope has to say.  But this year I actually read his Christmas eve sermon.    I was touched  by his story of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  I have posted it here.  I hope my protestant friends can read it.

“Today, anyone wishing to enter the Church of Jesus’ Nativity in Bethlehem will find that the doorway five and a half meters high, through which emperors and caliphs used to enter the building, is now largely walled up. Only a low opening of one and a half meters has remained. The intention was probably to provide the church with better protection from attack, but above all to prevent people from entering God’s house on horseback. Anyone wishing to enter the place of Jesus’ birth has to bend down. It seems to me that a deeper truth is revealed here, which should touch our hearts on this holy night: if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason. We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognizing God’s closeness. We must follow the interior path of Saint Francis the path leading to that ultimate outward and inward simplicity which enables the heart to see. We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to  pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby. In this spirit let us celebrate the liturgy of the holy night, let us strip away our fixation on what is material, on what can be measured and grasped. Let us allow ourselves to be made simple by the God who reveals himself to the simple of heart.”

Read the entire text of the Pope’s Message here.

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About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on December 25, 2011, in Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Pastor AJ, my pastor, has been there. He said when they went you couldn’t just visit Bethlehem. They had to be snuck into the city. They saw the place where it is thought Jesus was born. He told us just being in Israel and Jerusalem is very humbling. To be where our Lord and Savior lived and walked he said was awesome

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