Monday, December 28, 2009

Hebrews 1: 1-4

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews, writing to Jewish Christians who were facing tough times, reminds them at the start that God has spoken to his people in various ways and at various times.

God spoke through his prophets, through angels, through circumstances and through miraculous events.

But now, with the birth of Jesus Christ, God has spoken to us through His Son.

That first Christmas God spoke to various people - an expectant Mum, an anxious father, lowly shepherds and learned magi.

Christmas is a time when we may hear from people we’ve forgotten about. Their Christmas card, or the annual letter, will bring us up to date with their news, but sometimes the busyness of preparing for Christmas means that we haven't properly read them.

We haven't taken in what someone else was saying to us.

Christmas is a time of knowing that God has spoken. We have the heart of His message in His Son Jesus Christ. But have we taken the time to hear all that God has to say to us?

God has spoken. We need to listen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Luke 1: 51-53

And so we celebrate Christmas.

We give each other presents, decorate our houses and Christmas trees, go to parties and sing carols.

For many, it’s the only day in the year when they go to church.

If you put Christmas in the perspective of what Jesus taught, such celebration falls far short of what he expects.

Christmas is about everything.

It’s about the realisation of God's reign in this world.

Christmas is a step on the way to the new world, where we will all be together, in God's and each other's company.

Christmas is about justice and peace and a new world order, human rights and real equality of opportunity for all; it’s about the eradication of hunger, thirst, discrimination and violence, and renewed respect for our human environment.

To many it might seem odd to raise these issues during a Christmas celebration.

And yet, they are the very issues that prompted Mary to agree to begin the first ever Christmas preparations.

Luke tells us she said: ‘He has shown the might of his arm, he has routed the proud and all their schemes; he has brought down monarchs from their thrones, and raised on high the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.’