Ready or not, here I come!
Amazingly, Christmas decorations have been in the shops since September in the town where I live. Now, I am a great fan of Christmas, I love the reason for the season and the atmosphere but I must say that whilst I may be planning Christmas in the Church as early as July, decorations in the shops in September are a bit previous!
But whatever we say about this, the fact still remains that Christmas is coming!
I was reflecting on how God spoke concerning the birth of Jesus. There are many Old Testament scriptures foretelling the event - hundreds of years before Jesus was born the prophets told us - some of them very specific and with accurate details.
Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."
Isaiah 9:6: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
From there, we come towards the time God had appointed for Jesus' birth.
God spoke to Mary, Jesus mother (Luke 1:26ff)
God spoke to Joseph, her betrothed husband. (Matthew 1:20)
God spoke to the shepherds telling them to go and find this baby born in a stable. (Luke 2:8ff)
God spoke to the wise men who followed the star for almost two years to find the child Jesus. (They were not there at the time of Jesus birth!) (Matthew 2ff)
And then Jesus became a man and He spoke many things to mankind, His life explaining to us and showing us what the Kingdom of God is really like. How we can be free to make choices that do not entrap us in fragile and valueless life styles and ambitions.
He told Nicodemus (a very religious high ranking Pharisee) that he must be 'born again' if he wanted to see the Kingdom of God. (John 3ff). (See How can I know Jesus personally?).
So here you and I are, more than 2000 years later, Christmas 2017. Some of us will be looking forwards to it, some of us will be less enthusiastic for many reason. Christmas can be sad in the face of bereavement and loss, or perhaps it's just the stress and pressure that folk put themselves under at this time of year.
So many people, so many lives, so many circumstances. So if God would speak to us all now, I wonder what He would say? I think something like:
'I am here'.
I suppose the question is, will we accept an open this wonderful gift of life that we can have with the Lord, or will we leave it, discarded, like an unwanted Christmas present? The potential of a present is never realised until it is opened.
I wish you all peace and joy this Christmas and that you may know fully the life that Jesus came to give.
With much love,