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  • joeyredhead


When my mind is full of the business of life, I like nothing more than going for a walk to clear my head. There’s something about the freedom of the wide-open spaces of the fields and the comforting embrace of being hemmed in by the trees of a woodland. The beauty of nature helps me forget my worries and replaces them with wonder. The wonder of creation and of the God who created it all. It draws me closer to Him and fills me with gratitude that He would share all of this with me. I feel very blessed being in Alvechurch with so many beautiful walks so close to me. My favourite is the short stroll from my house and across the fields to see the alpacas. Not far from them, there is a bench that looks across the fields and back to Alvechurch.

Recently as I sat there thinking about our Christmas services, I noticed something that seemed strange to me. I looked over the fields and my eyes were drawn to all of the little trails that ran across them, formed from where the sheep would habitually walk, treading the same path over and over again. This caused scars in the fields, breaks where the grass had been worn away and the soil underneath was laid bare. These scars ran all across the fields, like rivers flowing through them or an interconnected web. I had seen them many times before. What I noticed for the first time however, was the grass that ran alongside these scars. They were green, but not green like the rest of the field, they were luscious almost vibrant green. It was clear even at a distance that this grass, right next to where the field had been wounded, was the best grass in the whole field.

My mind raced with a wealth of images. I thought of Leonard Cohens poetry where he refers to cracks being where light shines in and the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken porcelain is repaired with veins of gold to celebrate their imperfection. I thought of how all the difficulties in life left their scars, but how too, those wounds somehow seem to make the ground more fertile. Through the bad times we grow. And then I thought again of Christmas.

I thought of how God chose to reveal Himself in Human form, not as a rich ruler, an entitled aristocrat, a mighty warrior, or an immortal demi-god. But as a baby. A weak, fragile, vulnerable, fully dependent baby. A baby to a normal average family. And would grow up in the real everyday world of his contemporaries. To have the same human weaknesses, to know the same human hurts. To live a life so tentative, so easily broken. It seems an odd, dangerous and maybe even careless way for God to reveal himself. Yet it also seems that this was the only way to truly reveal himself to us in a way we could understand. God in the image of humans, the very humans which He made in His own image. And in Jesus we see who God really is in our terms and we see who we were made to be. If God is revealed in His divine power through which He made all of creation, how much more is He revealed through Jesus in the weakness of a human shell.

Such weakness would lead Him to be overcome by wicked men to be killed, but only after living a perfect life even in weakness. And perhaps what seemed like His greatest act of weakness was the greatest act of strength – for by it hope for all of humanity was earned. Yet Gods work through human weakness was not done. Having paved the way for humanity to return to Him, God then sent His Holy Spirit to all who would ask. The very person of God living in human beings – not God in a human shell but God living in independent humans with their own minds and desires. Possibly the greatest act of profanity possible! The most holy presence of God housed in the broken lives and corrupt hearts of humans. This is no longer the potential for something to go wrong but the guarantee of it! We make mistakes and we hurt each other – even when we’re trying really hard not to. But in His perfection, God does not distance himself from our failings but lives with us in them to help us to grow to be more like Him and to share in His work. I thought about all of this, and once again was filled with wonder.

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