The other day when Bill and Hamish were out for a walk they saw Peter and Sally followed by Grogan. Hamish ran towards them and began to strain at the lead, eager to say hello. But to everyone’s surprise he didn’t stop to say hello to Peter and Sally. He just ignored them and carried on past them to say hello to Grogan. Hamish likes people, but he likes other dogs even more. And that’s because he is a dog, and when he meets another dog he knows that it is someone just like him.
Sometimes you hear people say, “Our dog thinks he is a human”. But the dog experts say that dogs don’t think they are human; dogs think humans are dogs, but they are dogs that don’t really know how to speak dog language. Hamish does try to communicate with us - the way he barks or whines or growls, the way he wags his tail, the position of his body or his ears are all his way of trying to communicate with us and we are learning to understand what he is trying to say.
It is said that “a dog is man’s best friend”. We love Hamish and we want him to be our friend so we talk to him a lot. But most of the time he doesn’t understand what we are saying. If we really wanted to communicate with him in a way that he would understand we would have to become dogs. Because he never has any trouble understanding other dogs.
People and dogs are different. God is even more different to people. God loves us. He wants to communicate with us so that we can know him and love him and be his best friend. So God became a human being. He was born as a baby in Bethlehem and we know him today as Jesus. We may not be able to understand God, but we can understand Jesus because he was a human being just like us.
Jesus was given other names and one of them is Immanuel, which means “God is with us”. At Christmas we remember that Jesus is Immanuel, God is with us. But he isn’t only with us at Christmas time. He is with us all the time the whole year through. So this year let’s get to know Jesus. He’s the best friend we can ever have.