One of the many accusations often leveled at governments (of whatever persuasion) is that they are out-of-touch with ordinary people. Similarly, it is sometimes felt (however unjustly) that public servants lack empathy with the general public whom they are paid to serve. On the north coast of Scotland is the Castle of Mey, once owned by Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In the parish church of the nearby village of Mey there are three rather grand-looking chairs in a special section reserved for the late Queen Mother and those accompanying her. Behind these chairs a door led from the outside straight into the ‘royal enclosure’. However, so I was told when I visited some years ago, the Queen Mother did not use her privileged door, preferring rather to enter the church through the same door as everybody else.
How fitting that, when entering church to worship God, the Queen Mother chose to come in alongside the common people. What a picture that is of how Christ our Saviour came into our world. But not only how, but why. Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, says: “…you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (II Cor 8:9). And how rich!
To those who leave everything for him and the gospel Jesus promises all that we need for this life, “and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:30). So confident is Paul that he can assure us that “(his) God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). And – wonder of wonders! – “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions”.
Christ became poor so that, in him, we might become rich. He stooped down to where we are, in order to raise us up to where he is!
I pray that you may realize afresh this Christmas-time the riches of his grace.