God of the forgotten … #pauseforAdvent

For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

When Jesus of Nazareth arrived on the scene, he started small. He was born a fragile baby who, like all of us, needed his head supported until his neck was strong enough to lift it, who wailed at the frightening confusion of the world, who felt the anxiety of hunger, fear, pain and tiredness. When God remembers his promises, he does so in unique ways.

This child was more than anyone expected. In the story of visiting Magi from the East, Matthew tells us they brought with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh – such kingly gifts, for a child cradled in a manger, with no throne in sight. Gold – of great value, frankincense, used in worship, myrrh used, among other things, to anoint the dead. This child would be so many things: king and priest, prophet and teacher, Messiah and more. What this child would declare about himself would shake the entire establishment. He would come among them and live his life to remind them of God and his ways. In the end, he would give his life. It was the ultimate act of remembering.

Jesus lived the story of the God who remembered. He would point out the things the people had forgotten; he would tell them of a God who did not forget. He hung out with those forgotten by society and dismissed by the authorities, with those who were rarely called to mind, and if they were, only to be condemned. He specialised in the outcasts, those who were exiled in their own society, and invited them to re-form their identities around him, to walk after him, to learn from him. He remembered them, when no one else wanted to.

Taken from chapter nine of Forgetful Heart: Remembering God in a Distracted World

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