21st December 2013

The Santa Dash! 

“You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ.  This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:27 (NCV)

I saw 300 Santas this morning! 

It’s the annual charity run to raise funds for one of the local hospices. Everyone taking part has to dress up as Father Christmas for the event, including beards! It strikes me that many children might get slightly confused by seeing so many different shapes and sizes of the famous man in one place at the same time. You can almost hear the question, “Who has taken the liberty of cloning Father Christmas?” After all, surely there is only one! 

And you know, there is also only one Jesus, who is the Christ, but he has millions of brothers and sisters around the world who reflect him in love, mercy, kindness, and tenderness for you and others. 

Just as Jesus reflected the Father—“Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’” (John 14:8-9). In the same way Jesus’ siblings reflect him—not perfectly of course—it’s a family thing! Those who are in Christ develop a family likeness, a way of living for others that is not anything to do with who we were in the past but comes through the mind of Jesus, “In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). Having his mind, the conduct of the brothers and sisters of Jesus is meant to demonstrate his lifestyle, to display his compassion, tenderness, grace, longsuffering and gentleness. As the apostle Paul so aptly puts it; “For now that you have faith in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God. All of you who were baptised ‘into’ Christ have put on the family likeness of Christ. Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female—you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, you are true descendants of Abraham; you are true heirs of the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29 Phillips, italics mine). 

Those who put on Father Christmas garments look like him outwardly, the red suit, the white hair and beard, and the steel rimmed glasses, but those who put on Christ as a garment, mirror him from the inside, from the heart, from the spirit. Tell me, have you seen Jesus today? 

Lord, please flow out from us by your spirit that we might become more like you and reveal you to others by our family likeness.

Study by Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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