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Hope at Christmas


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Manger SceneIt’s Christmas Eve, and we turn again to the humble scene of a stable in the tiny Palestinian town of Bethlehem just over 2000 years ago.  For months now we’ve been bombarded with the world’s perception of Christmas, just think; when did you first see tinsel in your shopping centre? Or hear a carol or see a picture of Santa in the mall? It seems ‘Christmas’ begins earlier every year, but I find the earlier it starts the more worldly the focus is.

But once December comes around and the carol concerts start, some of the carols force the world to bring Jesus into the picture…

 

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

…there are many others and I know as I sit in front of my TV tonight at watch the carols (like I do every year) I will be moved to worship Jesus, through songs sung by people who probably don’t grasp exactly what they are singing. But I know! I know Jesus is the true reason for this celebration – and glorifying His name is what makes Christmas so special.

See because I know more of the story than just a baby in a manger. I know Jesus is God-himself, who humbled Himself so much He became human. That’s the celebration of Christmas… but even more so is the reason Jesus humbled Himself in that way. He did it because of love.  Such a great love that He saw His creation had no hope of repairing their relationship with Him – through our own rebellion we had cut ourselves off from Him forever. So He became one of us, so He could live a perfect life and be worthy to pay the penalty for our rebellion.

crossThat’s the hope we can have a Christmas – that Jesus came so we may have peace with Him.  The angels knew that… they knew the whole story… so on the day Jesus was born they couldn’t contain themselves… they filled the sky, singing His praises.  That’s what I want to do this Christmas.  Realise the hope of Jesus so much I cannot help but sing His praises.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and like myself, find yourself so immersed in the hope of Christmas that you glorify the name of Jesus in everything you do. And remember, though the worldly aspect of Christmas seems to invade our lives earlier each year… the hope of Christmas, that is Jesus, can (and should) impact our lives everyday of the year.

~Pastor Dean.