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December-January

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Christmas and new year, letís make more room for Jesus in our lives.

ďSo Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.Ē [Luke 2:4-6 NIV]

Bethlehem was full of people. During the reign of Augustus [31BC Ė AD14] the Romans required people over 12 to be registered for a taxation census.

We live in a money-centred, materialist, commercialised society. Many businesses regard Christmas as a critical time in the year for their survival; how good will the sales figures be for the Christmas period, beginning with Black Friday? Advertising pressures you and me to buy stuff, much of which we, or the recipient, donít really need. It just becomes clutter and takes up room in a drawer or cupboard.

There can be a similarity with our spiritual lives too. We may go to church and church events. We may be busy on church committees and activities, but do we make room for Jesus in our minds and lives? Do we allow time daily to be with him in prayer, Bible reading, stillness and contemplation?

Let us declutter both our physical and spiritual lives, so that we make room for more of the presence of Jesus. Rather than acquiring more stuff, we could suggest to friends and family that they get you a present, or you can give presents from www.presentaid.org.uk. This is run by Christian Aid and means someone in need gets a potentially life-changing present.

At this time, we think both about the appearance of Jesus as a divine human baby and also his future reappearance when he will return to Earth.

1        Lord Jesus, when you came to earth
          no room was ready at your birth;
          may we with joyful faith and prayer
          for your return our hearts prepare.

2        As at a word you cast out fear,
          made blind to see and deaf to hear,
          so speak, that our faint hearts may glow
          though faith is weak and steps are slow.

3        Then on the Cross of shame you died
          with death of all its power denied;
          may we, set free from evil reign,
          be ready when you come again.

Paul Wigmore (born 1925) © Paul Wigmore/Jubilate Hymns. Used By Permission. CCL Licence No. 55896 Copied from HymnQuest: Copyright Licence Users' Edition HymnQuest ID: 71705

This Christmas and new year, letís declutter and make more room for Jesus in our lives.

Ann and I wish you a happy Christmas and new year.

God bless,

John

 

     
     
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