Hey London Sims! Pilgrim here, spreading the Christmas cheer! Today, I thought I’d take time out of making snow angels and skating to talk about my favourite thing about Christmas. Presents! Yes, I love presents, and I’m sure you’re no different, but fortunately this year, I didn’t bring socks, or cheap perfume. Check this out:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Everyone loves gifts, and God is no different. The first line in this passage is really important in understanding the ministry of Jesus. This ancient Jewish prophecy refers to a coming King that will usher in a time of unbroken peace and prosperity for God’s people. As many of us look forward to presents under the Christmas tree, like the Jews in biblical times, we cannot wait to see what this present will look like.
God’s present did not disappoint, although some refused it. The thing that really separates Christianity from other religions, is the idea that God became human, in order to identify with us. In the Gospel of John, the writer declares that the Word (meaning Jesus, who was with God before creation) became human, and made a home among us. He laughed and joked with us, weeped and cried with us, and shared in the human experience.
Why is this important? Well, many people, if they believe in God at all, see Him as a distant Scrooge-like figure; a white-haired old man sat on a cloud, removed from the affairs of humanity. Through Jesus however, that image is shattered, as He Himself said to His disciples. When they asked Him to show them the Father (God), He replied that they had seen Him through Jesus; “the image of the invisible God”. (Colossians 1:15).
And yet, as is shown in the giving of myrrh (an embalming spice) by one of the Wise Men, the little baby that grew into the man Jesus, was also born to die. The most amazing aspect of this whole story is that instead of giving us gifts that would last us until February, God gave Himself who lasts forever. He will be called the Everlasting Father; meaning that unlike our real parents who let us down, He never will. The greatest gift God has given us is His Son. The most famous passage of scripture is John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The nature of love is to give away, and because God is love, He gives the very best. Jesus told His disciples that No greater love exists than that that gives its life for its friends. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, and through His resurrection and ascension to heaven, this Son’s reign as King will last forever, and those that acknowledge Him will receive a wealth of peace, joy and the eternal love that comes from Him alone.
This Christmas, will you accept the gift of love that God brings?
Pilgrim is Senior Leader at St Mary Abbots, SL. Between making snow angels and skating, he is available for prayer and a chat most days. He also runs an informal study on Saturdays at 11am SLT. Pop along to Kensington to see what new things he is upto.
The thoughts of Pilgrim may not always be the thoughts expressed by the Church of England…