Wow, How Small You Are!

Presiding Bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei shares his thoughts on where we can find our hope in a Christmas season that is defined each year by bigger, more spectacular and more glamorous, a phenomena that stands in stark contrast to Jesus’ humble beginning.

The first Christmas story is a story of a joyful birth even though it begins with a painful conflict. In this position, Joseph, a true man, felt that he could only do one thing: there is a problem, and I should solve it by separating our paths, ceasing our relation. But, he does not want to shame Mary, therefore, he decides to turn her away secretly. The angel must speak to him and say, „Do not dismiss her, but let her close to you. Do not send her away and leave her, but be her companion." Thus the child is born, the Savior. The one who came to fulfill what was promised by the prophets: God with us. He sends the Savior, who is for us, who does not reject us, but embraces us, who does not submit, but accepts us. He does not cut the ties, but instead, binds us to him.

The child is born, and here, we are truly amazed. Is this how God frees us? Is he the Savior? We imagine him somehow greater, more wonderful, more thrilling. But he is only a child, too small.

I recently heard a kind and very true story. A family invited three siblings to meet their newborn cousin. The smallest of the three, who was a „grown-up" compared to the newborn, was full of energy the entire time. She constantly ran over to the cradle where the baby was lying, and said, "Wow, how small you are!" She, who was always the smallest among her brothers and sisters, really enjoyed that there was someone even smaller. Somehow, this is how we are with Christmas. We say, „Happy Birthday, Jesus!" but also, „Wow, how small you are! Do you think you could do more? Do you think you could be a bit more spectacular, savior of the world?"


If we really want to see the child, we need to bend over him. This bowing gesture is the most beautiful Christmas wish. This is the gesture with which we realize and discover him. This bending motion touches our Christmas habits. We sit next to each other as family. We bend toward each other as we wish each a blessed holiday, and included in this bending is: God with us. It is included, that He wants us to stay close to Him, to remain in His Love, to be His. This is Christmas' real, human impulse, because, as long as we want to become bigger and stronger and more, Jesus the child, and Jesus the adult, is getting smaller and smaller for us. We put stools under ourselves, we climb steps, we put them under us and feel that we are getting larger.

But from there, He is no longer really visible. From there, we can no longer feel his proximity.There is no longer a feeling of the Savior's mercy and love. But the child was born, the child is here and asks, „Do you believe that I am here? Do you need me? Can you do anything without me?"The child is looking at us. This is our Christmas hope. The child looks at us, and does not always understands us, does not always know what we want, but the child watches us, and this is our hope. He also sees the way the world is this Christmas – not beautiful, not colored, but as it is. He sees desperate people who have lost all their hope, losing their jobs, because they have depreciated, because they are not enough EU-conformed. The child watches us, we only need to bend to him. Who wants to watch from a distance? There will not be Christmas for them, the distance is too great. There is no bending gesture, no experience of the saving power. But for those who can bow, it will be retained. The child is watching us, he sees us and this is our Christmas hope.

Gusztáv Bölcskei, Reformed Bishop of Transtibiscan Reformed Church District