God has drawn near in love



I love technology. I love the fact that Google Maps is able to navigate you around traffic snarls – often allowing you to take the exit just before all the traffic has built up on the motorway. So cool! I was in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago for a wedding, and stayed with a mate who is also into tech. He works for the church in youth ministry – which means he doesn’t get paid enough! So on the side he uses the app to be an Uber driver – which uses the tech built into our smart phones to identify the location of the passenger and the closest available driver to be able to respond and pickup the passenger within minutes. The passenger can also choose to select a playlist on her Spotify app and have it synced with the driver’s car stereo so that the music keeps playing when she gets into the car. As impressive as this tech all is however, the main thing that allows all of this to work is an age-old reality: wealth disparity. Companies like Uber rely on the fact that there are enough people who are under-employed to offer their services to those who are able to pay for them – with the company acting as a go-between to collect their 17% fee from the transaction. Which means that the world that Jesus was born into is remarkably similar to our own in this respect. God could have chosen a woman of significance to send the angel Gabriel to – a princess, or wealthy merchant, or at least a Roman citizen – but instead he chose an impoverished young girl from an out-of-the-way village in a dirt-poor region of a Roman occupied Jewish territory. As St Paul reminds us in his letter to Titus today, “it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves”; no, he saved us “for no reason except his own compassion.” (Titus 3:4-5)

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Christmas Day (Dawn Mass; 7min 52sec)

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