20th December 2012

Bah, Humbug!

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27 (NKJV)

I suppose that there’s no more famous Christmas story than Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Only strictly speaking it isn’t really a story about Christmas at all. It’s a story about being a miser, or more particularly, about reforming and becoming generous, having been a miser.

Ask any treasurer of any leading Christian fellowship and he will agree that this time of the year is the most difficult for a church to make ends meet. Most of the people, you see, are too busy giving presents to each other and eating the festive feast to think much about the baby Jesus and what his needs might be.

But then again, the baby Jesus grew up. He didn’t remain the babe in a manger, he became a man and went on with his role as minister and teacher, establishing his church and leading to his sacrifice on that hill far away that we all remember at Easter time. But that’s a story for another day.

Among your festive fare this year, at the time when many worthy secular charities receive more contributions than at any other time of the year, spare a thought for Christ’s church. Did you know that Jesus left you a gift—see the scripture above? And in this day-and-age, a gift of the most precious nature you can imagine. You may not have thought of it in these terms, but if you want to give something back, in exchange for Jesus’ gift to you, a present for Jesus, then why not gift something to his church? You’ll find they all need the extra help and will bless you for your contribution. Not to mention God.

Most gracious Father, in the busy-ness of life often we overlook the most obvious. And while many are busy giving gifts to each other, and looking forward to get-togethers with family and friends, we can overlook Christ altogether, though he is supposed to be central to this celebration. Let’s resolve this year, heavenly Father, with your help, to put Jesus central in our festivities, not forgetting the needs of your work through the churches you established. And this we pray through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and soon-coming King.

Study by John Stettaford

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