Sometimes something new comes along which is so innovative that it captures peoples imaginations. That’s certainly the case with the must have Christmas presents of the last few years. Here’s the top 5 from a few years ago:
1. Nintendo Wii
2. Apple ipod Shuffle
3. Wii accessories
4. ipod Nano
5. No7 Protect and Perfect Serum
Each of those products are innovative in their own way and in their own field, each has been invented in response to a problem, as a way of overcoming that problem.
So take the Wii the problem confronting Nintendo was how to break the strangle hold of the Xbox and Playstation. Their innovation was to make a games console for non-game players, no longer just for boys and young men but one that could be played on by the elderly the young and by ladies. And they did it, so much so that some old peoples homes are now using them with their residents as a means of staying active.
Then there’s the ipod – Apples problem was how to create a small hard drive media ready player. Their innovation has become THE mp3 player to have and done away with the Discman and Walkman.
And then there is the new No7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum, an anti-ageing cream that is innovative because it actually works. An old idea but an innovative product, over coming an age old problem.
Innovation for the human race never stops, next year there will be new innovative solutions to current problems.
The verses we have had read to us this evening are also all about innovation. In fact Christmas is about innovation – a way to overcome a problem.
Isaiah talks about the problem in terms of people being in darkness, and Luke in terms of a broken relationship. To put it simply the problem is that whilst we want everything God give us, we don’t want the God who made it. In fact the Bible tells us that is why the world is so dislocated, why there is depression, despair, suffering, injustice – in short the darkness Isaiah describes, because we reject God who made the world.
That problem is serious and the solution that God comes up with is innovative, if we can’t make ourselves right with him, then he will take the initiative. That is what Christmas is all about God’s initiative and God’s innovation.
The solution is in the baby the Shepherds go to see – one who is described as a saviour, or a deliverer, one who Luke tells us comes to bring peace – not the absence of war but a restored relationship with God.
That is an innovation worth celebrating, God sends his son because the problem is serious, he sends his son because sin must be paid for, and because he loves us so much he wants us to be in a right relationship with him.