We’ve all spent the last few weeks thinking about how to communicate the glorious message of Christmas to our communities. As we head towards Christmas Day, Phil Walter says we should make sure we stop and reflect on the glorious news of the Incarnation too.
Who reigns supreme at Christmas? It’s a simple answer for us as Christians but for our world the reality is very different.
Last month a board game was launched which pits Santa against Jesus to see who gets the title of “the supreme ruler” of Christmas. We might verbalise our disgust at this and join with the detractors calling it “absolutely shocking and blasphemous” or “wholly unacceptable and offensive.” But we must also realise that it’s the reality of what we face this Christmas period as God’s people.
Our communities include vast swathes of men, women and children who have Jesus as nothing more than a fictional Christmas character.
The once-a-year churchgoer making their annual visit to the Christmas Nativity may have a vague idea that Jesus was laid in a manger that first Christmas, but the truth is they are taken up with a fluffy view of angels, shepherds and kings.
As Christians, our challenge is giving a clear message of the enormity of what happened 2000 years ago and trying to do so with a fresh approach. But what happened then is not just good news for the unbeliever, but a glorious reminder to us as we are encouraged again by God’s great plan of salvation.
Joy to the World
One way we can reflect at this time of year is by meditating on some well-known Carols to help us think afresh of the most amazing day in the history of the world.
“Joy to the world the Lord has come!”
“Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace!”
The shepherds were told that the baby they would find in Bethlehem is God Incarnate.
God became flesh and dwelt among us. Such news of great joy meant heaven could not be silent as the heavenly host filled the sky declaring: “Glory to God in highest and on earth goodwill towards men!”
“O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”
The same shepherds worshipped baby Jesus, the first humans to worship the Son of God. Lowly men chosen by God to receive the good news and have the privilege of worshipping Him. As children of God who know and love the Saviour, is it not an amazing privilege to worship Him? Let us encourage each other in this. O come let us adore Him.
“Born that man no more may die.”
As we catch a fresh vision of Jesus whilst peering down at the baby in the manger, we cannot fail to see the Saviour of the world. Let us be careful not to leave Jesus in the manger this Christmas – as many in the world will do – but let’s point people to the Saviour who willingly suffered, bearing our sin in His body on the cross.
“Christ the everlasting Lord.”
The birth of Jesus Christ – God made flesh to dwell among us, heralds God’s eternal plan of salvation. God and sinners reconciled. A restored relationship with the Father as adopted sons and daughters for all eternity should always lead us to rejoice.
A Joyful Christmas
So can I urge you to take time this Christmas, at a personal level, to reflect afresh on the incredible truths revealed in the Christmas story? In the midst of church preparation and family festivities – or even pastoral issues that may arise at this time of year – may it bring you deep joy in your heart.
On behalf of all us here at FIEC, we wish you a blessed, fruitful and truly joyful Christmas and God’s richest blessings for the New Year.