Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hope is on the way 4: What Christmas is all about?

The normal suspect was at the chapel, so that is Tia and Rebekah.  

Elizabeth started the book club with “Sometimes I feel very much like Charlie Brown, especially this time of year. I desperately want to find the most crowded mall in town, get everyone’s attention, and cry out my favourite line from A Charlie Brown Christmas: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about??? I don’t mean this in a self-righteous, bah-humbug-on-the-other-holidays sort of way.  This is more rooted in my deep yearning for people to know and actually experience what it truly means to partake in God’s “peace on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14).

Rebekah went, “That what I want to do! We should ban father Christmas.”

Elizabeth had a very different opinion to Rebekah. “No, we shouldn’t ban the jolly fat man from our homes just because his name is an anagram for s-a-t-a-n, nor should burn the pagan “Christmas” trees or cry “foul” when we hear “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas. Because sometimes in our efforts to take the moral high ground this time of year, we end up trampling over (or even on) the very people Jesus came to earth to save! So may I humbly suggest that we focus on what the incarnation of the Word is all about as defined by the Word of God? 

Rebekah said “In other words, this is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown:”

Elizabeth said “Let’s make an anagram.” So all four of them made an anagram and this is the result. 

C  Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
H  The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

R  But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons (Galatians 4:4).

I  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him “Immanuel”—which means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23.)

S  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people (Titus 2:11).

T  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

M  And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

A  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10).

S  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).

Elizabeth ended book the club meeting with “At Christmas, it’s critical that we focus on the amazing gift of salvation we have in Jesus Christ.  When we take our eyes off ourselves and put them on THE Cause, we have a great opportunity to show that wise men and women still seek Him.

And let’s never forget that this is one of the most opportune times of the year to boldly proclaim the reason for the season in winsome and winning ways.  C.S. Lewis obviously did not feel that having Father Christmas in Narnia diminished the greatness of Aslan, nor should we take it upon on our sometimes grinchy selves to “save” the meaning of Jesus’ birth.  Let us just go out in the power of the Holy Spirit for THE Cause of the gospel and let people witness the holly, jolly joy of our salvation in every aspect of our lives because as Christians, we should not sound sad. Why, we should all sound glad! We want every person down in Sandhurst, the tall and the small, to be singing because of Jesus, the greatest present of all!”

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