It’s that time of year when millions of us are planning journeys to be with the people we love at Christmas. But just how far would you be willing to go to be with your loved ones?
In 1965 Australian Reg Spiers, penniless and desperate to return home from London in time for his daughter’s birthday, had a friend pack him in a wooden crate and ship him as airfreight to Perth. For three days he travelled in extreme discomfort via Paris and Bombay. Finally arriving in Perth he let himself out of the box, and hitchhiked home to Adelaide just in time for his daughter’s birthday!
The story reminds us that people sometimes go to extreme lengths to be with the ones they love. The Christmas story that we are preparing to celebrate centres around just such a journey prompted by love. A God of love who longed to be with us in person sent his Son to live on earth. His birth was uncomfortable, and he lived a life of material poverty which ended with his death on a cross. But like Spiers the discomfort of the journey had a purpose. Spiers went to a lot of trouble to celebrate a birth, and Jesus did the same to make possible our rebirth.