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Monday, 6 December 2010

Christmas 2010

A Happy Christmas to you.

Are you ready for the big day?
That seems to be the question at the forefront of our thinking at this time of the year. Christmas is coming and yet there is so much to do. Will I ever be ready?
The snow is on the ground; the present stack is growing. Cards are being written and postal deadlines are closing in. It is such a busy time for all of us.
Will we ever be ready?
As we travel around we see that local authorities have decorated the streets. The shops are prepared and some houses even have their Christmas trees in place. I have even seen Santa climbing a chimney.
Christmas is almost upon us!
But: are you ready?
It seems from our newspapers and televisions that nature is ready. We are already in the grip of an icy winter. There is snow on the ground, the bookmakers are hoping for many wrong guesses in order that they might make a good profit from those who bet on the chances of it being a white Christmas. The children are practising their Nativity plays; the restaurants are enticing us in with their Christmas fare. The mulled wine and mince pies are readily available. They are all ready!
BUT ARE YOU?
Christmas is a delightful time of the year. It is a great time for the family, a bright oasis in the dull days of winter. It is a time when all of the preparations are completed that we can relax and enjoy the season. I really do hope that this Christmas is a good one for you. I am looking forward to it immensely. But I wonder if you have ever considered the preparations that were necessary for that first Christmas?

It would be easy to think that the birth of Jesus was just an afterthought by God and that He made a simple decision to do something in order to give a helping hand to poor unfortunate mankind due to Adam and Eve’s transgression. This could not be further from the truth.
God was ready!
The bible tells us that God is omniscient, which simply means that He is all knowing. In being all knowing He had a plan for our rescue. Adam’s transgression might seem small to us but to God a complete break of trust over which He grieves greatly. He created man to be His friend and to be in fellowship with Him. A broken rule damaged that for all time.
We have inherited Adam’s rebellion and need God to do something on our behalf to restore what we have lost!
God was prepared for this.
From before the world was formed our All Knowing God prepared for Jesus to come at a specific time in order to rescue all who will repent and put their trust in Him. If you consider the Christmas account you will soon discover that Mary was fore-warned that Jesus would be born as was Joseph. Matthew in his gospel goes to great length to tell us that the Old Testament speaks of Jesus to come!
God was fully prepared.
He declared to His people through the Prophets that a Saviour would come. Isaiah said: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace.” We see these words on Christmas cards relating to Jesus. You see that at just the right time:
God was prepared
And so He sent Jesus, born of Mary! This is not only a miracle of birth that we as Christians wonder at but it is a far greater miracle. It is a miracle of God’s grace in that He was prepared and willing to do something of great value for mankind. By His grace He has gifted the world with His Son Jesus who gave Himself as a sacrifice for us that sin might be forgiven.
God was fully prepared to do this for you but are you prepared to accept His gift of Jesus. We celebrate His birth. Why not consider Him as saviour?

We invite you to come to any of the services published in our card but would especially invite you to join with us for the “Community Carol Service” to be held on Friday 17th December at 6:00pm. During the service we will take up an offering; the proceeds will go to the Shoebox appeal which is organised by Blythewood Care.

Once again I wish you a very happy Christmas.