Jesus is big news this Christmas

December 20, 2017

Rochester Presbyterian Church Reverend Stuart Withers.

RANDOM House sits on nine hectares, with the Campaspe river flowing through the grounds.

It is a historic multi-purpose building, which most recently offered relief accommodation for victims of domestic violence.

Now the homestead sits abandoned and unkept.

People go by without noticing it.

It would be great to think someone would see something in it and set about restoring it to its former glory.

The Christmas story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem can often get similar treatment.

For some, Christmas is so familiar that it passes without notice.

Christmas is about gifts, food, lights and family.

It’s about the present, not the past.

However, just like some people have hopes for Random House, I hope people will pause and recognise that there is something significant in Christmas.

The past is still touching our present.

Luke tells us that an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds outside Bethlehem and they were fearful (Lk 2:8-9).

Ordinary life was disturbed by heavenly realities.

And the glory and greatness of God’s angel left the shepherds feeling small and unclean.

But the angel said: ‘‘Fear not, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

What do you think about Christmas and Christianity?

Perhaps you’re indifferent, can’t see the relevance.

Others, perhaps increasingly, get irritated. They say Christianity is bad news because it’s about controlling people.

My hope is that you might pause long enough to be intrigued by the truth of Christmas.

Christmas is about God reaching out to people in the once-for-all-time event: the life of Jesus.

Jesus came so that we can get a fresh start with God.

Full forgiveness and eternal life.

It’s about handing over what you cannot keep, to gain what you cannot get yourself.

If the news about Jesus is not the best news you’ve ever heard, then you haven’t heard it right.

Why not slow down and discover Christmas’ glory.

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