Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | November 30, 2015

The Strong Word December 2015/January 2016

 

Christmas changes things! For instance, a packet of shortbread (all butter) can be bought in the year for as little as 85p in the right shop, whilst at Christmas, with suitable seasonal wrapping, such biscuits can be priced as much as £5. If the same biscuits are in a festive TIN one can pay as much as £7.50 or even £9.99, all for the same biscuits! There are many other cases of other price variation because of Christmas which I am sure you can quote to illustrate my point. The biscuits are not the issue, but the wrapping is what becomes important, because it is Christmas.

For me the same is true in the church at Christmas. We wrap the Christmas story so much that the original truth and purpose goes out of the window. The wrapping, the food, drink and presents just take over. It becomes a time of year when we can overspend and over indulge in such a way that celebration of the arrival of the son of God into the world is just completely lost on us.

Christmas marks the arrival of the very word of God, who is coexistent with God the Father at Creation and has “pitched his tent” amongst us. Immanuel, God with us. Yet the last thing many want to do on Christmas day is to recognise that God is with us.

Christmas services are out of the way well before the 25th December so that on the day itself we can just please our selves.

A survey last year stated that by 2.40pm on Christmas day, the arguments begin! If not in your house, then you can watch it all happen in Eastenders on TV, often the programme is on more than once. From the snippets I have caught over the years and the trailers that are on TV before hand for the programme, there is a lot of aggression and argument, who knows even the occasional murder. What a way to celebrate the arrival of the Prince of Peace amongst us!

The more I have begun to consider Christmas this year the more I have come to see that I have missed the import of the story for my life and for this world. When God intervened directly in history and started to roll back the sin and death and curse that had been on the human race since Genesis Chapter 3.

Surely this is a time for sober and appropriate celebrations when we Christians really do appreciate what we can inherit because of God’s love made real to us and relevant to us in his son Jesus Christ?

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