Thought for December, 2019.
It's Nearly Christmas!
Christmas is a time for celebration and the giving and receiving of presents. Usually presents are wrapped in colourful, glossy or glittery paper and often look exciting. They usually carry a gift tag which say who it’s for and who it’s from. We all like a present. I don’t expect we’d be too impressed if we were offered the tag on its own or the coloured ribbon arranged around the parcel and tied with a neat bow. We’d probably protest, look disappointed or go into a sulk. Presents are for giving and receiving in full, not just part of them.
At Christmas time, God gave us all a special present; he gave his son, Jesus. He didn’t just give the wrappings or a half-hearted son who didn’t do what God wanted him to do. God gave his whole Son, completely, and Jesus fulfilled everything that God desired of him to teach and heal and bless - and finally to die on the cross to save all humanity from their sins. What’s more, God brought Jesus back from the dead so he is alive and continues to work in the hearts of Christians across the world.
One of Jesus’ teachings was about loving one another. He said “The most important one (commandment), is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
God gave his all and he asks us to give our all in return. We can do this for God by loving our neighbour, perhaps by keeping an eye on someone on their own who struggles to get about a little or being friendly and having a chat when someone is lonely. This Christmas, let us remember those who live around us and be prepared to offer our ’love’ fully where it is needed.
Rev’d Jenny West – Associate Minister