16th December 2017

Christmas Excesses

“This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.”
Job 38:11 (NIV)

Not far from where I live is Canvey Island and on it was once a pub named the ‘King Canute’. It was originally named the ‘Red Cow’, but its name was changed as a mark of the 1953 floods which devastated the island.

King Canute is credited with setting his throne by the sea shore and commanding the incoming tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. His command had no effect – the incoming tide dashed over them. You might think that a strange thing to do, but it did show his courtiers he was just another man, not a god.

Christmas is often a time of excess. Whether or not we regard it as the actual time when Christ was born, the excess should be that of zeal and service to our Lord. Unfortunately, it is more likely to be characterised by indulgence in this society’s excesses—excess drinking and clubbing, and excess sexual activity all of the wrong sort.

We know such tendencies are wrong, but some people, even Christians, tend to get caught up in them. We know we need extra help in resisting them, while at the same time enjoying ourselves. Spiritual help. Paul tells us where this help comes from: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 AKJV). The Holy Spirit is there to help us resist excesses and indiscretion. Let’s call upon Him in prayer and thereby demonstrate to those around us that there is another way, not of this world, which may be equally enjoyable, but which lacks the painful after effects. You never know, some people might be convinced by your example.

King Canute’s courtiers thought he could protect himself from the waves by just commanding them to halt. In the scripture above, God is telling Job that it is He, God, who sets the limits, not us. We need to look to the Word of God and through his Spirit understand our limits. We know that we need God’s help to not be overwhelmed by Christmas excesses. Let’s not be killjoys but let’s show by our living that there is another way; one which brings true lasting joy.

Father, at this time of the year I need Your help. Please help me resist the false attractions that the devil places in my way. Bless me with Your Holy Spirit of grace that I may resist them and be an example to others of where our true allegiances should lie. In the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Study by Christopher Reeve


About the Author:
Chris Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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One Response to “16th December 2017”

  1. Alisondonaldson on December 16th, 2017 10:39 am

    Thank you so much, Chris for this warning and the advice about being filled with the spirit instead of worldly excesses. Although the age I am I will not be attending office Parties or likely to spend much time in pubs I still realise how strong the desire is to be accepted and a part of the company we are in. I have felt since I was widowed earlier this year how alone we can feel and Longing for acceptance by others. Its probably the reason so many do get into bad situations. I did slip the other day by responding to some attention. I soon realized but we can all be drawn away. and others are watching us. We can be the difference in other people’s decisions. Perhaps others would like to join with me and pray for each other that we will keep on the right way and keep others from falling

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