I’ve got to admit something, I didn’t remember this advert at all! But my boss alerted me to it half way through December, saying that she thought it was one of the best, I watched it and tended to agree with her. So I got rid of one of the more tenuous adverts I had planned for today and shoe horned this beauty in.
God could have done the incarnation in a really different way, let’s face it God could have done it anyway God wanted- this is God we’re talking about. The recue mission of salvation could have been accomplished in any manner of grand, showy, earth shattering, over the top ways. If I’d have been in charge that’s probably the way things would have gone if I’m honest. But that’s not the way it happened. The incarnation we celebrate at Christmas was quiet, dirty and thoroughly normal in the grand scheme of things. It happened almost in obscurity, in a tiny town where nothing special ever happened.
In the advert the lad who did this incredible act of kindness for his elderly neighbour could have really milked it for all it was worth, couldn’t he?! Again, I would be a little bit inclined to I think. He could have knocked on their door and stuck around, expecting their thanks and gratitude. He could have explained to his mate why he’d taken so long, making sure his mate felt bad for not being as kind as he is. But he didn’t. He just did this wonderful thing quietly and privately.
Because the important thing, in both the advert and the nativity, is the thing itself and absolutely not the way it happens. The important thing in the advert is that that the elderly person got the shopping they needed, and perhaps felt seen and cared about at a time when so many are lonely. The important thing in the nativity is that God came to be with us in human form.
In neither case did these things need to be over the top and grand, and in fact perhaps they’re made all the better that they’re done quietly. Perhaps then, the love can speak all the louder.