When we hear the Christmas story we might recognise a remarkable parallel between the birth of Jesus Christ and the vaccines against the Covid pandemic.
The Covid pandemic is putting a heavy strain on the population of our country, perhaps similar to how much the Roman occupation had a hold on the people of Israel. And then in the midst of hoplesness and fear a long awaited saviour is born, who is the hope of the nation. In this period of fear in our day and age, a vaccine against the dreaded Covid looks like the saviour against a disease holding people in bondage and fear. A vaccine that restores the hope of being freed from the oppressor of our nation and its people.
But here the parallel ends. The vaccine is the result of human intellect and through the control of the natural state of affairs. The Christmas child on the other hand is not the work of human hands or human intellect and certainly not under the control of humanity.
Besides, we only have to look around us to see that human intellect has never been able to resolve issues of oppression, or poverty, or hunger, or of envy and of strive and of war. Look at the world and we see nations torn apart by internal conflicts, people desperately looking for safety and shelter. Only look to our own shores and count those try to come here to find a better life for themselves, because their own countries can’t provide it. Even now with a vaccine in our Western world within reach, the majority of the world population doesn’t have that privilege.
Human intellect and its scientific control of the world has in the end not brought much equality, liberty or unity as was the motto of the dream for a new world order. If the Christmas Child would have come in the hands of human control, it would never have grown up in the way God intended it to be.
The child as we celebrate it will grow up and become God’s answer on human failure. At the heart of the story of the Christmas child lies the Grace of God Who has reached out to all people in any circumstance to give them a hope no one and nothing else can give.
This Grace of God is not because we earned it or have established it through our own human intellect. It is God’s own choice to reconcile us with Him again through this child. The child in the manger that will grow up to become the Christ of God, Saviour of us all. Not by human effort, but by the Grace of God.