Christmas how did it all start? Arguably the most important historical birth ever that continues to rock the world and affect people’s lives today.
Announced on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, filmed by Netflix? No!! But by an angel sent from God, backed by a heavenly choir to ordinary shepherds just doing their job on a Bethlehem hillside, watching over their flocks and at night too. What a shock they must have had.
Following God’s instructions off they went, found the stable, bowed down in awe and wonder to worship the baby born to be a heavenly King then………..went back to work with a new spring in their step understanding in part that God’s long awaited Messiah had come to rescue his people.
That rescue is still open today to all who wonder, welcome and bow to worship him as King of their hearts and lives and not only, as the shepherds thought, from their enemies outside but much more from the enemy we all have within, the sin that separates us from God.
The writer G K Chesterton wrote:
‘The world will not perish for lack of wonders but for lack of WONDER.’
Let’s join the shepherds and regain that sense of wonder at the coming of Jesus to be the Saviour of the world.
Covid 19 has spread it’s gloomy shadow over the whole earth in these last few months bringing sickness and death in every place. It is also causing economic collapse in countries, in industry and most worryingly in individual homes. Yet so many are working hard to stop it’s effects and it’s spread particularly those in health services and caring professions across the world!
Where is God may well be the cry of many troubled and fearful hearts?
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” was the cry of the Psalmist. (Psalm 46:1)
“The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down”. (Psalm:145:14)
“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth”. (Psalm:145:18)
In the silence of our empty streets particularly in ‘locked down’ towns and cities surely the right thing to do is “Be still, and know that He is God”. (Psalm 46:10)
But the best thing is to know with absolute confidence that the Lord Jesus His beloved Son is risen and with us always. He will save and welcome into his eternal Kingdom all who turn to him and trust in him.
‘….to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God‘. (John 1:12)
‘I’m on this lonely heartworn highway’ is the first line of a song I often sing when visiting people in our local soup kitchens. Many of the guests are always on the move but never seem to be getting anywhere or doing anything of much. In the Bible it says ‘Jesus went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). If we’re honest a lot of the time we just ‘go about’! The key is that ‘God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power….for God was with Him’. Peter tells how Jesus commanded the disciples to testify that God appointed him to be judge of the living and the dead and proclaim forgiveness of sins to everyone who believes in his name.
When that becomes our main aim in life we will no longer be just ‘going about’ but we’ll also be ‘going about doing good’. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers at Pentecost they immediately began the good work of proclaiming and even ‘gossiping’ the Gospel. As believers today we have been given the same Spirit in order to do the same good work. Let’s be sure to make that our priority – ‘going about doing good’!