Most of the ‘celebration’ events in the United Kingdom last a day – Guy Fawkes Night, Shrove Tuesday, etc., or even a weekend – Easter, August Bank Holiday – and the build up is minimal, and then they’re over. Christmas seems to last forever – months before (Christmas shops open around September), the madness of shopping – enough food for a 6 weeks internment! – and then – it’s gone. I don’t know about you, but with Christmas on a Thursday, and Boxing Day Friday, today really feels like it should be Monday. It’s the only annual event that messes with your head, but, of course, the most significant event in human history. Tim Keller, the outstanding pastor, preacher, and writer, said this:
- Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you.
Even for us, as born-again Christians, it’s easy to get so caught up in the madness that surrounds Christmas, that the eternal truth of what happened slips down the pecking order of importance. It is, for those who believe – and I guess, even more for those who don’t! – the genuine realisation that God came, and continually comes, to us. I’m so grateful that God so loved the world, that he sent his son, so that we can have everlasting life.
I don’t know what your Christmas was like. Maybe raucous with a houseful of family members. Maybe out, partying. Maybe quiet, reflective. No matter what, the truth remains the same, that for those who believe, we’ve GOT everlasting life. What an awesome thing to be able to say. So Christmas the Event might be over, but Christmas the future changing event, is with us, eternally. Thank you, Father. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit. We can NEVER thank you enough, only try, by being the people you LONG for us to become, changing your world by letting people see (not be bombarded with words) the true life of Jesus in and through us.
My Christmas was quiet: I’m grateful for that after the long, long (and somewhat traumatic!) drive early in the week. It was vital for this poor right knee – the one the child kicked on the ferry last Sunday – had time – a lot of time – to remain horizontal, as, by Wednesday, I could hardly walk on it. Thankfully, I’ve got some more days hiding away, in a warm house, with my log fire making the room so warm and snug, and the occasional glass of something or other, helping with rehabilitation! I’d value your prayers for my knees, as always, but especially the right one now, as to be suddenly moved, hard and fast, from left to right (as opposed to front to back!), did something inside it that I can still feel, even though I’m dousing it in copious amounts of anti-inflammatory gel, and some heavy duty painkillers.
For anyone who wonders if God doesn’t heal you, for some negative reason or other, then put it out of your mind. Over the years my knees have been bad, I’ve seen God heal (literally) hundreds and hundreds of knees, pairs of knees, many with what I’m ‘diagnosed’ with (but not receiving!!). They get up, walk, shout, laugh, run…’I’m healed, I’m healed!’ – and I have to resist the urge to ask them to help me up off the floor, if I’ve knelt in front of them to pray for them! Quite frequently, I do just ask a little question of God, like ‘When is it my turn?’!!
I do hope that you have a blessed last few days of what I’m sure has been a short year, and that your dreams (not resolutions – they rarely work!!) for 2015, will reflect the truth that Jesus came to give himself to us, invest himself in us, and pour out his life through us, so that we can be the ‘image of the invisible Jesus’ – which is what Paul said of Jesus, in Colossians 1 – ‘the image of the invisible God’….