Category Archives: Reflection

A Waiting Disciple?

16. The shepherds found the baby and then were so happy and excited that they told lots of other people the news.

I always dream of one of the shepherds turning out to be one of Jesus favoured disciples some years later. From their calling to the stable in Bethlehem, their visitation and their spreading of the news; they waited and watched.

Here is the nub of our faith; we hear, we act and we tell. When we are comfortable with this path we will be drawn into repetition. We cannot stop hearing, but then neither can we cease acting as Jesus called and neither can we stop telling of the worth and worship we find in Jesus presence.

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Glory

15. Then the whole sky filled with angels who sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth.” The angels left and the shepherds decided to go and see the baby.
Music can lift my spirit and take my whole being somewhere unexpected. What is your favourite piece of music? Does it inspire or well up melancholy into you very being. These angels singing must have been all your top ten rolled into one. Not one but a veritable host singing God’s praise; really professional worship, top draw. The shepherds so moved they left there sheep to view the child.

What will draw you from worship to action today’s?

And Yet Change is at Hand

14. Out on the hills nearby, there lived some shepherdswho were looking after their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared and said to the shepherds, “Don’t be scared. There is wonderful news. A Saviour has been born.”

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To be quite contradictory from yesterday’s thought, into the ordinariness of shepherding sheep news of something different – “a Saviour….born.” Is the challenge of the angel – “don’t be scared!” – because the visitation or because the message? An angel would be startling, but the message is momentous. God touching life in a fleshy way alters the game of life. Faith in God is born in a baby, go and see. The occasion will change you!

Comfortable 

13. Jesus was born. He was wrapped up, and placed in the animal’s hay to sleep.

Modernity had ruined contentment. There seems nothing that is more abhorrent today than being comfortable. Change has become the ideological drive of the day, everything must renew or be cast aside because it seems to be comfortable whilst being contented is all but sinful and decay.

Where though on earth can the wholeness and holiness of a child settled and sleeping lead? 

“Don’t disturb the baby” a couple receiving guests will say,”they took ages to settle!” From comfort and calmness a child grows naturally. I believe, I hope the part of Jesus development was in love and stability generated from Mary and Joseph.  

Somewhere to Stay

12. Mary and Joseph found somewhere with the animals where they could stay.

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Jesus said: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

Somewhere to stay for Mary and Joseph was not a five star hotel, not even a second rate B and B; but somewhere outside regulation perfection; ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ is the old adage. If this part of the Christmas story is allegory for you and your position before God, let me encourage you. No matter how small and insignificant, however unclean or unworthy; God will dwell in you. The Jesus who spoke of us ‘asking’, ‘seeking’ and ‘knocking’ gave and still gives himself as the example for us to follow.

No Room

11. When Mary and Joseph arrived in Nazareth, there was no room in the inn.

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‘There was no room’ makes a sadness well up in me. I have been told of broken lives and relationships that floundered because there was ‘no room’. A heart rejected, a job made redundant, a love mislaid or a plea forsaken.

We proclaim grace unlimited but can act as if for someone else there is ‘no room’. The Advent call is to repentance and restoration. If you have signalled ‘no room’ how do you repent and restore?

Great Expectations 

10. It was a long and difficult journey, especially for Mary whose tummy was getting very big because the baby was nearly ready to be born.

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There is a strange encumbrance, a draw back to being heavily pregnant; how you move, what you can eat it or drink. What a time for Mary to take a long journey? There must have been great expectation, in the simple birth of a first child and this promise of Emmanuel.

Advent can be a time of preparation as we move toward the birth of the Christ-child. We may grow wise in the encumbrances or draw backs in our own spirituality in this ‘long and difficult journey’ we call life.

What burden do we gift to Jesus that he would carry for us?