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Christmas – The Glory of the Story

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Have we missed the glory of the story? Have our ears grown numb to angels appearing, Joseph dreaming, the star gleaming and the Christmas meaning? Do we smile with fondness at the quaint little tale, as we focus on decorating, entertaining and pre-Christmas sales?

Many missed the glory of the story. With all eyes focused on Caesar’s census, few heads turned to see the Almighty’s arrival. There was no advertising campaign and little promotional build up. Bethlehem had no room and Herod had no clue.

Yet into the silence came not armies or trumpets, but a baby’s cry. The backdrop was a dirty feeding trough within a smelly shed. The audience were disreputable farmers, horoscope readers, a pregnant virgin and a bewildered bloke.

All this took place while earth slept. Few noticed or seemed to care. Yet his entrance signalled a change. Time swivels on him. People swear by him. History points to him.

Into time stepped the timeless one.
Earth’s newest creation was the Uncreated One.
The world’s youngest human was the Ageless One.
The God of Angel Armies became the weakest human.
The All Powerful One had yet to learn to walk and talk.

This paradox of humanity and divinity would reveal what God is like.
The one who spoke through prophets was now speaking through his son.

The King of heaven exchanged his throne for a cradle.
The Creator entered into his own creation.
The Author put himself on the page.
The Infinite became an infant.
The Giver became the gift.

A gift missed by the masses but seen by the lowly on the fringes.
A gift, not perfectly wrapped with a ribbon and bow, but one messy and helpless.
A gift with no return policy or gift receipt, but sent as the rescue package for a broken world.

The gift of a sin forgiver who perfectly fitted the gap between God and man.

Outsiders and foreigners rushed to the manger. One day, fishermen and freedom fighters would follow, while sinners and saints would sit at his feet.

He was called a king yet he didn’t sit on a throne.
He spoke of a kingdom yet he didn’t own any land.
He was followed in the street yet he stooped to wash feet.

All were welcomed. All were invited to become part of a Kingdom being established.

At Christmas we don’t just celebrate the past birth of a baby but we anticipate the future coming of a Saviour.

Today we stand looking back on his birth.
Today we gather to reflect on his life.
Today we too are invited to worship this King.

Pressures and gifts

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Christmas Presents

We’ve all felt that unspoken pressure when handing over a gift. Will they already have it? Will they use it? Will it be enough? Will it fit?! Perhaps this Christmas you’re feeling that pressure!

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17

God is a giver and the gifts that He gives are good. If he created the dazzling lights in the skies around us, then we can trust that gifts he places in our lives and in our hands will be good. We can be sure that the gifts he gives us will be of use to us. His gifts will be enough. His gifts will fit us!

God is the giver of good gifts. He is reliable, trustworthy and unchanging. Unlike some of the other things we’ll give and receive tomorrow! And don’t we see that and celebrate that in the ultimate gift that God gave?

Jesus.

The gift of Jesus didn’t come perfectly wrapped with a ribbon and a bow, but arrived on earth messy and helpless.

The gift of Jesus didn’t arrive with much of an advertising campaign, but was revealed to a few on the fringes of society.

The gift of Jesus didn’t come with a return policy or a gift receipt, he was sent by God as the only option for a broken world.

And did the world have this gift? Would they use it? Would it be enough? Would it fit?

Well, this gift of a Saviour wasn’t something the world already had. The gift of a sin forgiver was useful and necessary to a depraved humanity. The gift of God in human form was more than enough for us. This gift of Jesus perfectly fitted the gap between God and man.

We didn’t have it and we need to use it. It is more than enough and it fits. God’s good gift is Jesus and there’s no need for a return policy this Christmas. Let’s celebrate and walk in that today!

A Simple Christmas

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A real challenge this Christmas

on the 11th day of Christmas

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Day 11
In the madness and rush of all that happened that First Christmas, Mary and Joseph went home to start life as a new family. Christmas is often a rush for us, but we should be looking for spaces of stillness and times of silence. Perhaps you need to get away from it all for a short time.

Do
On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, take some moments in silence. No music. No TV. No Facebook. No phone. For a few minutes say thanks to God for the Christmas story.

my 10 favourite things of Christmas

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i’m excited that this time has rolled around again. i guess it’s a season with so many dimensions so thought i’d share a few reasons why i find it so special. in no particular order…

:: family catch ups
:: shloer is always in a cupboard somewhere
:: getting to sing o come all ye faithful
:: lie ins
:: lots of football on
:: time to be still
:: christmas morning service at our church
:: turkey, stuffing, gravy and cadburys roses (not all together!)
:: christmas day top of the pops!
:: remembering the one who refused to remain distant and stepped into our world

it’s december!!

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so where did that come from??! it’s upon us and were just 3 weeks from Christmas.

it’s sarah and i first christmas together as a married couple and i guess we want to set patterns in our life that are positive and that we can carry on. i really want my attitude and actions to reflect the true spirit of what Jesus came to bring at Christmas.

i love this video and it inspires me to make a difference. and make a change too.

i want to do this in my personal and family life. as well as within youth at church. hoping to launch this year’s ‘christmas conspiracy’ this sunday night but more of that soon!!

watch…

my post to mark the start of advent!!

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sleeping-commuter

it sounds almost too incredible to say yet even more unbelievable to think.

God sneaked into the world.

there was a lack of advertising campaign and little promotional build up. with all eyes focused on Caesar’s census, few heads turned to look at the Almighty’s arriving. while the world looked one way, God crept onto earth.

bethlehem had no room. herod had no clue.

it happened in the company of unreputable farmers, horoscope readers, a pregnant virgin and a bewildered bloke. the backdrop was a dirty feeding trough within a smelly shed.

into time stepped the Timeless One. earth’s newest creation was the Uncreated One. the world’s youngest human was the Ageless One. the All Powerful One had yet to learn to walk and talk.

few noticed. no one seemed to care. and all this took place while earth slept.

maybe God is wanting to wake us from our 21st century slumber to see the wonder of this miraculous, calendar changing event all over again.

no more sleeping. God has arrived.