“He is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed.” Daniel 6:26
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Images of Jesus help us visualize his time on Earth as told in Scripture. There are paintings of Jesus, a baby, in a barn with his parents and animals, visited by foreign scholars; as a young man in the temple conversing with elders. There are paintings of Jesus, the man, with disciples, the sick; being punished and dying, greeting friends after the resurrection, ascending into heaven. In some paintings he looks rather the same; in others – not so. I recently watched a PBS Rick Steves Christmas show which included creches from various cultures and socioeconomic situations – to help people identify this baby Jesus as part of THEIR lives, Steves mused. James Taylor wrote a beautiful Christmas song: “Some children see him lily white …. bronzed and brown … almond eyed …. And ah, they love him too.” Indeed, Jesus was born for them, for all. Different depictions do not change Jesus.
Last Sunday we heard words from Isaiah: “The grass withers, the flower fades … “ We age, not just visibly – wrinkles and compressing vertebrae – but emotionally, feeling a bit more vulnerable and apprehensive. For better or worse, people might feel changed after fighting in a war, surviving life threatening illness, experiencing grief … definitely for better, choosing sobriety. “… But the word of our God will stand forever.” Our life changes do not change Jesus.
People are saying “Christmas will be different this year.” However tossed about we may feel with families separated and traditions on hold does not change Jesus; however our minds imagine Jesus, his love and mercy was, is, and ever shall be the same.
“Of the Father's love begotten ere the worlds began to be, he is Alpha and Omega, he the Source, the Ending he, of the things that are, that have been, and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!” Amen (Prayer verse: Aurelius Prudentius)