Monday, December 27

Merry Christmas everyone ...

Trust me to be running a bit late ...

A belated Happy Christmas to all the faithful readers of my blog ... and to anyone else who happens to be passing!

Christmas 2004 for me was spent in York with my parents, my brother Danny and his wife Caz (who live in York) and Caz's parents. We all arrived on 23rd and had a fun few days of games, outings, plenty of food & drink, music, a little TV and of course thinking about the coming of the Lord Jesus as our King and Saviour ...

I think Christmas was particularly poignant for me this year after a term at the North West Partnership Ministry Training Course (try saying that after your Christmas pud & brandy butter!!!) In our Biblical Theology module we've been looking in detail at the Old Testament and the outworking of God's salvation plan through it all and it's really struck me how much the OT should make us yearn for Jesus ... And this makes Christmas totally exciting. Last week at The Plant we were reading Mary's song from Luke's Gospel (poncy churches call it "The Magnificat") and I got such a strong sense of the wonder, the awe, the excitement and the expectancy that comes with the announcement of Christ coming into the world. It's as though God says "Right, here we go lads! This is the big one. This is the one you've all been waiting for!" The culmination of hundreds of years of waiting ... the fulfilment of God's faithful promises to his people down the ages.

The joy of reading the Old Testament and getting that same sense of expectancy and excitement with the coming of Christ just made Christmas time that bit more special this year ... I know it sounds a bit stupid cos he's already come and we know what he did and it was all such a long time ago, but I can't help feel we're meant to get excited at Christmas ... not about presents, trees, food, family or fun (These are good things, but not the most important!) but about the fact that at Christmas we remind each other of that tremendous moment in history when God started to unravel his salvation plan ... The wonder of God himself coming down to live among us, to experience our trial and sorrow, to remain obedient through temptation and ultimately to go to the cross and be raised again to life so that our sin might be dealt with and we might have the promise of new life in Jesus' name. Wow!

I hope you had a great Christmas and that you've been excited anew by the wonder of Jesus Christ, God the Son come to earth as a man so that we might know God, his everlasting love and have life through him.

God bless you at this time ...

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