Did Christmas make a difference in your life?
CHRISTMAS Is coming! Oh, no, it's arrived!
So, has it made any difference to your life? And will your life make things any better for others?
Sometimes, it is easier to look at Christmas and see the tinsel and the wrapping paper and forget the challenging gift at its centre.
God in human form – Impossible? Improbable? Unimaginable? Unbelievable! So, why did you celebrate Christmas? What do you actually believe?
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Many Christians teach that believing in Jesus is all that God requires.
Perhaps that is because (as psychology has come to show us) our thoughts, words and actions all arise from our deep-rooted internal belief systems.
So, can we really "believe" in Jesus and continue to behave in ways which are clearly contradictory to his life? Of course, because God has also given us "Free Will" – the opportunity to make our own choices.
When I listen to inspirational speakers or watch documentaries on TV, I find myself asking the "so what" question.
So what difference does this make to me, to others, to the world in general? I find, as I get older, I want to cut through the waffle and get to the heart of things. And that's how I see Christmas – God cutting through the religious junk and saying, "I am here - let me show you"……
Jesus never wrote a book but he did a lot of inspirational speaking (presumably he must have been inspirational or there wouldn't have been times when thousands of people needed to be fed.) Jesus didn't start a religion or draw up a set of rules for living - other people did that.
He modelled a "show and tell" lifestyle. His actions taught compassion and his stories taught wisdom rather than knowledge.
As we contemplate the remnants of Christmas and the approach of another New Year, may the gift of Jesus, his spirit of wisdom and compassion, remain with us, may it help us, inspire us, strengthen and uphold us through whatever trials and joys we have to face and may you and yours know the blessings of Jesus in 2013.