Optimising connectivity for everyday life

C4L Boosters are here to help you in the spiritual lift-off stage and to bring vital boosters to keep you in the best orbit on your journey.  Unafraid to tackle any topic, C4L Boosters  are designed for you to connect securely with The Infinite, for this is your call to pursue.

Optimising connectivity
for everyday life

C4L Boosters are here to help you in the spiritual lift-off stage and to bring vital boosters to keep you in the best orbit on your journey.  Unafraid to tackle any topic, C4L Boosters  are designed for you to connect securely with The Infinite, for this is your call to pursue.

Christmas

When you were young, who took the lead role in master-minding your Christmas Day celebrations?  Was it your mum, dad, perhaps jointly or maybe someone else? In days of ‘yore’, people used to enjoy foraging in the countryside for mistletoe and holly with berries to ‘deck the halls’.  The Christmas tree had to be real, reach up to the ceiling and be a well-balanced shape. Nowadays there’s pressure to buy artificial ones but apparently real ones have a smaller carbon footprint and allegedly up to ten trees are planted for every one cut down. Gifts would be spread around the base of the tree with littles ones balanced on branches along with baubles, lights and tinsel making a colourful staircase to the fairy on the top. Carols would be sung, gifts given, TV watched and many calories consumed. It was God the Father who carefully oversaw the preparations for the first Christmas - he still watches to see our reactions to his most precious gift to us … often sadly obscured by the tree and by trivia.

  • ‘Christmas is the day that holds all time together’ - Alexander Smith
  • ‘He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree’ - Roy L Smith
  • ‘God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it’ - Pope Francis
  • ‘For it is in giving that we receive’ - Francis of Assisi

Consider a little more the impact of Christmas over time. Businesses and charities thrive as people spend and give more.  Those who are bereaved often find it a harder time as loved ones are missed but it is still the most popular time for couples to get engaged.  A King quotes a poem to encourage a nation during a World War and opposing forces agree to a cease fire to sing carols, exchange gifts and even play football between the trenches.  A young couple make a long journey, some shepherds make a short journey and some deep thinkers make a very long journey - as for the heavenly host, it’s an intergalactic journey!  Countries around the world come up with strange customs and families make their up their own traditions - just think about those in your own household.  Turkeys, pigs, parsnips and sprouts get more nervous the closer it gets! People go to great effort in the choosing of a gift for a loved one as they ponder what is needed or wanted, then search carefully for the gift before wrapping it with anticipation in the joy they hope it will bring. 

  • ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God‘ - John 1:1
  • ‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning God  with us)’ - Isaiah 7:14
  • ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ - John 1:14
  • ‘Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’ - Luke 2:11-12

God our Father so loved us that he sent his son gift wrapped!  Whilst God watched over the living nativity scene and the first steps his son would make, he knew those steps would lead to a cruel cross where he would have to look away as Jesus bore the sins of the world.  Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus would then wrap the body of Jesus in cloths laden with funeral spices including myrrh.   The greater the love one person has for another, the more the care in choosing a gift and the higher the price they are willing to spend on it.  There was sacrificial love in the Incarnation by the Father and Son but never was greater love shown as Jesus humbled himself to death - that cost put an immense value on your head, for it was the price of your forgiveness and future resurrection.  It is 2000 miles from Moab to Bethlehem, 100 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem and 2000 feet from north-west corner of the temple mount to Calvary.  The relevance of these distances relate to those making the journeys.

  • ‘So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning’ - Ruth 1:22
  • ‘In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register.  So 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’ - Luke 2:1-5
  • ‘As the soldiers led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him’  - Luke 23: 26-27

Ruth walked to Bethlehem (which means House of Bread) with her mother-in-law Naomi - she gave birth to Obed who was the father of Jesse, the father of King David.  Coming through this same genealogy was Jesus, the one to be born in Bethlehem, carried by Mary and Joseph on a physically tough journey. The Lord’s last journey was a short one but it was surely the hardest of them all.  These were all journeys of faith just as the Magi’s long journey of over 700 miles. If we miss the significance of Christmas, we’re also unlikely to understand the meaning of Easter.  We would be offended if a priceless gift was overlooked - how much greater pain must it cause God the Father when the gift of His Son is ignored. 

  • ‘Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers’”’ - Matthew 21:11-13
  • ‘If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my Father in heaven. But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven’ - Matthew 10:32-33

What can we learn from the adult Jesus?  He overturns the tables in the Temple, not out of pique but due to the offence given to his heavenly Father through the misuse of the ‘house of prayer’.    Jesus calls to each one of us now not with the gurgling of a baby but in a way we can all understand that now is the time to acknowledge him. Herod not only misunderstood Christmas but felt his control was threatened by the birth of this baby and so sought to eradicate every trace of Jesus. In the same way, many people today ignore Jesus or try to erase him from their lives.  This is in stark contrast to the wise men’s response on finding him after their arduous journey as they gave Jesus costly gifts and bowed down in worship. 

  • ‘Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’ - Matthew 7:21

Let’s be sure not to miss the meaning of Christmas. The ever popular carol, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by Harold Darke has a final question, ‘What can I give him?’ which he answers wisely, ‘Give him my heart’.  Is this your journey and response too? Recognising God’s hand in Christmas should enable us to enjoy it all the more, including holly with or without berries.

THE JOURNEY (connect4life.org.uk)

CELEBRATION (connect4life.org.uk)

Matt Redman - O Little Town (The Glory Of Christmas) (Lyrics And Chords) - YouTube

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