Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas - it's amazing!

I like Christmas! You wont get any humbug from me, even if I do get a bit wound up by all the hype and excess, because there are many good things about Christmas to be celebrated and enjoyed. Personally, I look forward to time with the family at home - the great company, the laughter, the food.. log fire.. games.. pressies.. And yes, I am very aware how blessed I am to be able to enjoy all of the above when so many in the world keenly feel the absence of such things at this time. I’m very grateful.

I also like Christmas because of the focus on Jesus - even if he does so often get lost amongst all the nonsense. Let him be heard! Now this is where I’m afraid I do have a bit of a gripe - some of those awful carols... (I’m going to get into trouble here..!) like ‘Away in a manger’. Who said baby Jesus never cried? He really was human you know! And what about the line.. ‘Christian children all should be mild (??!!) obedient, good as he.’

And then there’s the de-radicalizing of Scripture - listen out for the reading of Isaiah chapter 53, read with polished poise.. “Who has believed our report...” when actually it should be read with shocked amazement, something like.. “Who on earth will ever believe this??!” because what Isaiah goes on to describe, centuries before it happened, is a Saviour King who would willingly be humbled & humiliated, beaten & killed, all for the sake of carrying the guilt and punishment of lost people like us. Astonishing! And long may it amaze and astonish us and result in loud and long celebrations!!

My prayer is that Jesus will be seen and heard because he really is the Saviour of the world - and we are in need of saving. Yes, he came for the last, the least, the little and the lost, to pay a price that we could never pay to bring us into a life & future that we could never earn, and for that, I am eternally grateful!

So have a great Christmas - be amazed.. and very grateful to God!


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