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Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

What does Christ­mas mean to you?

Times with fam­ily and friends? Per­haps car­ols, cards, tele­vi­sion spe­cials. Maybe hec­tic shop­ping, par­ties, and eat­ing too much.

All th­ese and more are part of our mod­ern Christ­mas. But what about the first Christ­mas? Is the orig­i­nal story of the baby in a manger, shep­herds, wise men and an­gels im­por­tant at all?

For two mil­len­nia, we have been shar­ing this story down the gen­er­a­tions, if it’s not im­por­tant why are we still shar­ing this story?

May it be be­cause this is a story of Hope and Sur­vival?

As in our so­ci­ety to­day, with home­less­ness and food banks, poverty and ill­ness, Je­sus’ so­ci­ety also knew great pain and op­pres­sion. In the midst of so­cial and cul­tural chal­lenges, the Christ­mas story of­fers hope and en­cour­age­ment to­ward sur­vival, hope of new life linked to some­thing­some­one, greater than our­selves.

Or per­haps it’s all about Peace and Good­will?

‘ You know what I wish? I wish there could be peace in all the earth and no more ar­gu­ments or fight­ing’ How many times have we said or heard this? Well, on that first Christ­mas the an­gel an­nounced to some shep­herds, “’Don’t be afraid! . . . I bring you good news of great joy for ev­ery­one! The Saviour—yes, the Mes­siah, the Lord— has been born tonight in Beth­le­hem, the city of David!” A crowd of an­gels then ap­peared prais­ing God and pro­claim­ing peace among peo­ple of good will.

The Christ­mas story brings a mes­sage of peace that can soothe our anx­ious hearts and bring good­will amongst all peo­ple. What about Fam­ily? Christ­mas is a time for fam­ily gath­er­ings. This in­ter­ac­tion can bring great joy or great stress.

Joseph and Mary had their fair share of fam­ily chal­lenges too, how­ever with God’s help they over­came all the ob­sta­cles in their way, to­day we are of­fered that same help.

Ul­ti­mately Je­sus came to us as a baby to show God’s great Love for all. Christ­mas is meant to cel­e­brate peace and joy. Amidst the busy­ness of shop­ping, par­ties, presents, and fun, re­mem­ber not just to squeeze in the Prince of Peace, but to fo­cus first on Him who came to spread peace and joy to all. Ali­son Kennedy, Youth/Com­mu­nity Worker, Flemington Hall­side Church.

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