Crashing into Christmas
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God and saying: “Glory to God I the highest, and earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. “ Luke 2:13
As we rush once again towards Christmas there seems to be no peace on earth. This reminds me of the Christmas Carol “I heard the bells on Christmas day” based on the 1863 poem Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem was written during a time of grief for Longfellow, the American Civil War was raging, his wife had died tragically in 1861 in a fire and his son had joined the Union army and had been severely wounded.
The narrator despairingly cries out that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.” This seems to be the reality even today despite the efforts of Santa. However towards the end of the carol, hope breaks through with the bells ringing out “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep” and that there will ultimately be “peace on earth, goodwill to men”, this is particularly those who have given their lives to Christ as Lord and Saviour. The breaking through of HOPE reminds me of John 1 where it states – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. On the first Christmas – God broke into the earth crashing through Satan’s defences to restore His kingdom to Himself and bring that peace that we all desire.
At this time of year, is easy to turn yourself inside out trying to attend Christmas parties, buy presents, put together a fabulous family feast however, God calls us to pause, to remember why He came and to spend time with Him and give our problems and calendar clashes over to Him. This is the message He reiterated in Luke 10 where we have the contrasting responses of Mary and Martha to Him.
Can I encourage you all during the Christmas period to take some time for yourself and your families, time to pause, to rest, to reflect and be restored in body, mind and soul.
May you all have a Holy, Christ centred, Blessed and Safe Christmas and New Year.
Steve the MCF-A Chair, on behalf of the MCF Exec, Council and Office.
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