November 2017


Dear Friends,

Christmas is like an onion, it has many layers to it.

Layer one: some people see it as a time to pack in work for a few days and pour copious amounts of alcohol down their throats and watch much trashy TV. Not recommended.

Others, perhaps the majority, focus on layer two. They see it as a time for family gathering and annual celebration of something special. Although they might be a bit vague about the religious bit, they like to go to a carol service and watch the Queen’s Christmas message (and let’s face it in the past few years she has been full-on evangelical) (Wonderful woman). All of this is good. It is good for family to be together. It is good to pause from the hurly-burly of life once in a while. But for the rest of us who believe in Jesus as our personal saviour, Christmas hits us at a deeper level.

Layer three. Although we can and probably should celebrate the birth of Jesus every day, this is the time of year when we give this remarkable fact special attention. Consider the power of that simple truth. The one who created the universe, who flung stars into space, came to this planet as a fragile human being. Never mind for a moment, the astonishing sacrifice of his death, consider the extraordinary sacrifice of his birth. He came.

He left behind all of his glory. He left behind his intimacy with the father. He turned his back on his majesty. He knew it would end in death and separation on the cross. And yet, he still came.

He did not demand a royal palace or a squad of SAS officers to protect him. He did not insist on a noble birth and great earthly status. He was prepared to live within a delicate Israeli teenager for nine months and then be born as every other baby is born. He came. He came because God loves us. Why he does, we will never fully fathom, but he loves us and demonstrated that when He came.

So this Christmas, let us avoid layer one, enjoy layer two to the full, but also immerse ourselves in the awesome truth of layer three. God’s astonishing love for us. He loves us so much that he came from heaven to save us.

All we have to do is believe. Wow!

Happy Christmas one and all, The Stewards