Given By Rev. Madison Shockley December 31, 2017

Our reading comes from one of the letters from Paul. One must remember that these letters pre-date the gospels by several decades. For those early Christians, what did they believe the significance of Jesus’s birth was? We have a clue in this letter from Paul to the Galatians. Paul’s writings have significant implications for the narrative about Jesus’s birth. While Paul talks a great deal about Jesus’s death, he hardly mentions Jesus’s birth. According to Paul, the birth was not miraculous in any way.  He simply says Jesus was “born of a woman.” There was cosmic significance nevertheless for humanity. It effected the redemption of all humans. Jesus redeems the human condition by entering into it. It is Jesus’s spirit coming into the world through the human heart. Faith alone was all that was necessity. You did not need to become a Jew first. Jesus was about freedom. It was freedom from the powers of the world that seek to control, confine, and define our individual freedoms. This message is not just for those in the ancient world but for us too. We are the divine children of God and not slaves to the world. Today’s world is driven by capital (money).  You can only have one master. You must choose, God or money/fame.  This spirit helps us recognize our true selves as children of God. That is the miracle of Jesus’s birth. It shows us how to live as free human beings, not bound by class, race, gender, education, nationality, or sexual orientation.