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What Will We Settle for this Christmas?

A person cannot see the sky unless s/he steps out from under the dense forest. A person cannot enjoy the beauty of the Northern Lights until s/he steps out to look at the night sky. If we become overly engaged in the small issues of life, we run the risk of missing the beauty of the bigger plan.

Christmas begins with a less noted story that is irrevocably joined to a larger, and yet, it would have been easy for the principals in the smaller story to miss the significance of the greater.

In a re-enactment of the Abraham-Sarah miracle, Zechariah and Elizabeth conceive a child when it seemed humanly impossible. So amazing was this conception that Elizabeth, probably unwilling to expose herself to ridicule in case things did not turn out as anticipated, secluded herself for five months. It must have been a breathless wonder to them that God had at last answered their prayers.

God, however, is never late and had been preparing the parents of John the Baptist for just this moment in history when the birth of Jesus’ forerunner was scheduled. Elizabeth and Zechariah could have been forgiven for becoming so enthralled with their miracle child, that everything else paled in significance.

However, the response we find from this godly couple is far more sublime. Both recognise the divine destiny of their child. Yet, each is conscious of the greater wonder that the yearned-for saviour will soon come. Both seem to recognise that they are walking on holy ground with the privilege of being a part of the greatest gospel ever told.

Our sensitive, compassionate Father uses the ‘smaller’ miracle of John’s miraculous birth to prepare us for the greater miracle of God, in human form, coming to redeem Israel and the world in an unexpected manner.

Should we not step out from under the trees to experience the vast beauty of the skies?

Should we not step outside to experience the stupendous wonder of the Northern Lights?

Should we not look beyond our narrow concerns to experience the breathless riches of him whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas?

Crossover Service 2016
Advent and Christmas Dates 2016
 

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Friday, 18 January 2019

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