Apologies if this post doesn’t make sense, I haven’t had a chance to edit it. :)Christmas always seems to remind me of three major things: family and friends, materialism and our need of a Saviour.
Family and Friends
Often Christmas is that climax of the year when you see all your relatives and friends. This year I was really struck by the amount of people disapointed or reminded of broken families, relationships or those that they’ve lost.
I have the priveledge of being close friends with a guy in the special unit, he does rescue’s and bomb mission stuff, some great stories. He has at times had to attempted to talk people out of suicide and watched them take the leap. He has seen people so off their face with drugs and alcohol that they’ve scraped the skin off half their face trying to go under the lines on the road.
Having a chat to him yesturday really reminded me of how blessed I am with my family. Yet Christmas can be a time of suffering for some and it brought me to ask, where is the comfort for these people?
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for her sins.”
My great comfort comes in that God’s given us teh security code to his house. The great comfort is in Jesus as he opens the way to heaven.
Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Being a Christian means that I live with this great assurance, knowing that I need God, that I can’t wipe away my own sins. It means I’m at rest with God in forgiveness and my heart is changed to rely on him.
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
I can see God at work in my life and am comforted in the changes he makes in me; as he helps me to fix the valleys and mountains in my life that hinder my perspective.
Christmas is also a season marked with material gain. This year I was reminded of how focused our society is on success, money and stuff. We yearn to get a great job so we can own what we want and become popular and loved through our success.
“All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the feild. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
In all the buzz of new things that will fade and get thrown out, in beauty and possessions that will wither, God’s word will never be out-of-date.
Need a Saviour?
An athiest leader in a youtube video stated: ” You’ve got to hate someone a whole lot if you know the secret to eternal life and you don’t tell them.”
It’s almost like someone keeping the cure to cancer to themselves, except I believe I’ve found the cure for death, I guess.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
The Bible uses the image of a shepherd to describe our relationship with Jesus. In a Biblical context, a Shepherd knows the name of each sheep, searches for the ones that are lost, fights off the threats against them and leads them.
God in Christ laid down his life to show his care and committment. Christ stood in front of the wrath of God (directed at us) in our sin so that we might repent and turn to him.
“Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
In light of this, I hope to continue to change my ways, to be a comfort to family and friends, study the word of God, show people the hope and joy in the Christian lifestyle and to remind people of the gift God’s generously offering.
God’s word will not let you down.