Monday, 24 December 2012
The Christmas Message
Well, a very merry Christmas to you all my friends! As I look out onto the Welsh countryside, with low fog clouding the hills and a steady drizzle sitting over us, the traditional 'Christmas spirit' is not as overwhelming as in previous years. Instead, however, I'm actually truly excited about the 'truth' of Christmas. Yup, the 'Jesus' bit of it. Yes, really.
Tomorrow will, I'm sure, be fun. There's great TV planned (YES to the Downton Christmas special), of course I am excited by presents, the food, and simply being with my family will be so special. But without the whole Jesus bit of it, it's not much more than a slightly more special day.
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight
After a year actually pretty full of fears AND hopes, I can testify to this truth. Our hopes and our fears have always been so far beyond ourselves to solve. We can't solve our selfishness, our yearning for more to life than we see, our fear of death, our loneliness, our sorrows, or the way we have hurt others. These things are not within our control or our remit to fix. The only one who could.... was Him.
So yeah, Christmas is celebrating Jesus coming to earth as a baby. But let's not get too overly wrapped up in the cutesy baby, 'away in a manger' stylee. This is GOD in FLESH.
And isn't it beautiful, exciting, mind-blowing, that in the huge weakness and vulnerability that you and I may have experienced this year, this is how God chooses to come - weak, dependent, vulnerable. This IS good news for people like me. He came to those, like me, who were hopeless and in Himself brought hope that change is possible; restoration of relationships and redemption of brokenness is truly possible.
What better news could there be on a drizzly Christmas eve, that once the paper and the trees have been disposed of for yet another year, and we have happily said goodbye to Slade's timeless reminder of all that is bad about the festive season, that Jesus came for people like us? He came not to bring us the warm fuzzy feeling, but to bring hope and change when the world is falling. I can't think of any better news.