Thursday Reflection

24th December 2020

'simply a midwinter festival?'

21 But now God has shown us
   a way to be made right
   with him without keeping
   the requirements of the law,
   as was promised in the
   writings of Moses
   and the prophets long ago.

22 We are made right with God
   by placing our faith
   in Jesus Christ.
   And this is true for
   everyone who believes,
   no matter who we are'

....Romans 3:21-22

Paul, in his letter to the
Romans, tells us it is all about
the Good News of what
God has done for us in His Son,
Jesus Christ, how God came
to earth as a human child,
God incarnate.

This is exactly what we
celebrate at Christmas.
Jesus Christ is the reason
for the season.
Christmas is the day on which
we celebrate his birth.

We celebrate not simply
a festival of lights,
not simply midwinter festival,
not an end of year holiday,
although the secular world
would have us believe that.

We celebrate the birth
of the Son of God;
and the story of the
virgin birth accentuates
that Jesus was
and is the Son of God.

The nativity stories
do raise major issues
for many Christians.
Sadly, each year we get
caught up in the debate
trying to explain Christmas
rather than just enjoying it
and being thrilled
by the wonder of it all.

We have human stories
which are trying to explain
that in the little family of
Joseph and Mary,
God was doing a wonderful thing.

Was the birth of Jesus
a miracle?
Yes of course,
but the birth of every child
is a miracle.
They might also be
a real nuisance,
they might be a massive
but they are undoubtedly miracles.

A Virgin birth can be an even
bigger stumbling block because
it is something we have even less
understanding about.

We just have to put it in the pile
marked 'don't know'
and trust through faith.

After all - if our God is big
and powerful enough to have made
this amazing universe
and all that is in it -
then surely a virgin birth
would be easy enough for him.

The point of Christmas
is that it is about things
which defy explanation,
it is about amazing things
out of this world events.
Dreams and angels
and babies being born.

The miracle of this particular
birth was not only that
a child was born,
but that in that child,
God was doing something
quite special.

Joseph had very little reason
to be happy, at that first Christmas.
His wife could be thought
to have betrayed him,
he had to travel to Bethlehem
and then flee a mad king.

Yet because of his faith
he is able to bring great
good out of the difficulty
of the situation.

This Christmas,
can we dare to try
and be like Joseph?
To look, whatever chaos
or difficulties come along,
straight in the face
and still be trusting in God
that good will come out of it?

Joseph had very little to go on.
He was probably surrounded
by people who told him to
get rid of Mary,
that no good could come
from a woman like that.

Yet his faith enabled him
to see that God comes to us
at times when we least expect it
and in ways that we least expect.

All around us,
every day of our lives
we will hear the words of people
who see doom and gloom

We Christians must
overcome all that,
for we have been assured
of the future, by God himself.

Because we are people who
believe in the future,
we can live better today.

We can see the beginnings
of a new life right now,
in the face of baby born
in Bethlehem.

Wishing you all a
very Happy Christmas.