In the carol, “Angels we have heard on high”, we hear the phrase “Come to Bethlehem and see”
A baby born in a manger, yes, but so much more…. Love Incarnate. We see that God does something new to show us how much he loves us; he becomes one of us. So often we hear people quote, John 3/16…” God so loved the world that he sent his only Son” as if was over…..God has never stopped loving us because he continue to give his Son…..here at the Eucharist, here in the Word, here in each other, if we only open our eyes and see.
Come and see, what?
The promise of peace. In the midst of a war torn occupied country, the Prince of Peace was born. He who is Peace Incarnate was born to witness that the reality of peace can endure even in the face of the violence of poverty, the violence of oppression, the violence of racism….and not of it done with weapons or violent behavior. In fact, the Peace that Jesus brought was through his obedience on the Cross and sealed with the empty tomb of Easter
Come and see, what?
The joy of the world. Our God came to save us. It is only in Christ that true joy and contentment will be found. No money, no game, no relationship, nothing will bring us the joy that He brings. The Shepherds found Joy in the middle of a smelly and damp stable, in a box filled with straw, in the presence of poor man and woman who had nothing, in a barn! Here what the world longs for still today was found. A lasting Joy found only in the immense mystery of God is found in the middle of all the hours of our days.
Come and see….
The promise of eternal life. The true future of believers……a relationship with a God who never leaves us alone, in this world or the next. See in the feedbox that held an infant the promise of the Bread of Heaven that Jesus would leave us as a sign of His presence and what life eternal will be like. Come and see the Jesus who is present upon the altar every Sunday…the same Jesus who Mary place in a feedbox comes here to feed us…Come and see the God who was laid in a manger and now is placed upon this altar as Bread and Wine that is transformed. Today we don’t need a manger because we can see him every week and in every Eucharist. Come and see the Bethlehem, the House of Bread, which is what Bethlehem means….now, we are Bethlehem because when we receive the Eucharist we become what we receive as St Augustine tell us.
Come to Bethlehem and see the new born King here and now….not in the stable of 2000 years ago, but here in Word, Sacrament and in this community. Come and see: we are the Virgin who gave birth, Joseph who took care of his Body, the Shepherds who listened to the angels and came, the angels who sang his praises. We are the Manger where they gathered; and we are the manger that help his Sacred Body.
Come and see……true Joy, Peace, Promise….Come now and see the Jesus who is born among us now, in our hearts and lives.