Advent

I was listening to an old Thee Pirates song today called ‘Happy Bloody Christmas’ and it got me thinking. The lyrics go like this:

God Bless the skins, God Bless the punks.
God Bless the whores and the winos and drunks
God Bless the kids on the back of the bus.
Because Jesus was born for sinners like us.

I think so often amongst the shiny tinsel and fancy trimmings of the ‘festive season’ these days we forget that the first, true, Christmas was not a well polished, aesthetically pleasing, picture perfect moment. It was blood and placenta and hay in a little stable in the bitter cold of winter. Jesus Christ is not an item to be well packaged and merchandised. He is the loving creator of the universe who humbled himself to become a man, a nobody, so that He could effectively reach out to other such nobodies – the tax collectors, the whores and adulterers, the blind, deaf, dumb, leprous outcast scum of society – with the love of God made personal and undeniably present.

And let’s face it we, each one of us, are all outcasts in some way. We don’t fit in at work, our family members don’t like us, we mess up and make mistakes. Even if we are top of the popularity charts, have perfect teeth and earn lots of money, even if we think we have the perfect life, we are still separated, outcasts of our own choosing, from God. Why? Because all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). It’s in our nature, we inherited it from our first father, Adam. But Christ reached sinners like us, outcasts, filth ridden by our sin. He came to clear it away, taking the punishment we so rightly deserved (after all if every crime has a punishment in earthly matters why would it be any different in heavenly ones?).

I pray that if you only receive one gift this Christmas it would be the true understanding of mankind’s separation from God and his/her need for the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of relationship with God that can only come through Christ. I am so overwhelmed when I think of what His advent truly means. None need perish in sin, according to Jesus words in John 10:11 the way is open: ‘Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures’. What a promise, what a joyful inheritance for those who choose Christ.

Merry CHRISTmas friends

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