An extract from the Dean's sermon for the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve:
When we talk about holy places, we sometimes describe them as ‘thin’ places; places where it seems the gap between our reality and the deeper reality of God has all but vanished.
We might also describe Jesus as a ‘thin’ person.
He most likely was physically thin, due to the diet of Jewish villagers in ancient Palestine and the active lifestyle of someone walking from place to place across Galilee. But I am referring to something else: his capacity to transform people.
What changed people was their discovery that when they met Jesus they also encountered God.
Jesus proclaimed the coming of God’s rule.
Jesus himself was the arrival of God, present among us in a new way. Emmanuel.
In the Gospel of John this mystery is expressed in words put onto the lips of Jesus by the later tradition: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
Christmas invites us to embrace the possibility that our world is really a crowd of thin people.
Others encounter God when they meet us, and we encounter God when we meet them. Emmanuel.
Of course, this also means that how we treat others is also how we treat God.
The full text of this sermon, along with a link to a video recording, is available online.