Served vs. Serve

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2008 by lucyar

Someone, Virginia Talmudge actually, although sadly I don’t know who that is, prayed this:

“Lord, help me to keep Christmas unhurried. Let us make a soft manger bed of worship in my heart for you and take time for adoration of the Babe of Christmas”

A soft manger bed of worship… I like that.

I have been thinking about servanthood over the last little while- perhaps bought to mind by the bartenders and waitors who have been giving me food and drink at various Christmas gatherings.

It is a key trait of the God-man that came to earth. This whole creator of the universe wiping donkey dung from feet scenario.

I like to think of this idea: that when we follow God’s example of humble. humble, humble servanthood we are giving us and other space to adore him. Little acts of secret service can be like building the frame of the soft manger bed of worship in our hearts.

It is Christmas. day Take time to show unhurried love. Grasp the chance to go out of your way to make a drink for someone. Carry someones bags for them. Offer round the mince pies. Hoover up the wayward pines from the tree.  As you do it dwell on this humble King … and worship.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 by Malcolm Rutherford

Today is Christmas

It was not about people having too much food together, but it was kinda about gifts. Jesus was born and He is Gods gift to the world.

At the Christmas eve service last night a friend who had a baby 3 weeks ago asked me to hold her baby. actually it was more like… can you take this… she was busy and the baby was in the way for a bit…

can we take Jesus. He is offered for  to us in relationship and in a salvific role. salvific is an awesome word our pastor used recently. salvific. . . salve. ointment that makes you betterer.  salvation. makes you better? maybe . maybe not. makes you as clean. as white as snow. yep.

thanks for Christmas, God.

Relapse…or Response?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 by sal

I don’t know about you, but I find that Christmas seems to disappear incredibly quickly. After such anticipation, decorations having been up since October, and adequate time to remind ourselves of what the season is really about, after Boxing Day everything seems to slip very quickly back into ‘normality’. Suddenly everybody is focused on New Year’s Eve (and whatever other holidays your country might celebrate) and before you know it, all the hospitality and goodwill and generosity and wonder fade into the background, as sales and work/school and resolutions and losing festive weight become the focus. We relapse.

What’s the point of spending precious time meditating on this precious event if it doesn’t result in a response? And not a response that manifests itself only on Christmas day, but a response that flows through our lives and into the new year?

I was told once that if you were unsure how to respond to the miracle of Christmas, to look at the guys who were there at the first one.

First, there’s the shepherds. After coming to see baby Jesus, their response was to go out and tell people what they had witnessed. The miracle inspired evangelism.

Later, there’s the wise men. After hearing about this same baby, their response was to bring him gifts that symbolised how adored and revered he was – gifts for a king. The miracle inspired worship.

May our reponse to Christmas be one that shows others who Jesus is. A response that worships him with all we are and all we have. A response that lasts well after December 25th. A response fit for a king.

3rd Advent Prayer

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 by fairchristmasfayre
This Sunday we light our third symbolic sparkler and remember the meaning of Advent (the visit of Jesus).We wait and we marinate in:
The remembrance of Israel’s yearning for the coming Messiah, to save, forgive and restore them.
Our hope for the second coming of Jesus where everything will be restored.
The realisation of our own need for Gods grace, through Jesus.
God, stir in our hearts excitement about the visit of your Son. God, help us to anticipate you with every bit of us. Help our waiting to be practical; with each small act of servanthood help us to remember you and to be inspired by your example.
sparkler1

If…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2008 by jonfordham

If a nightingale sing

If a sycamore leaf spin

If a salmon leap

If a tortoise sleep

 

make your careful way with awe

by appreciating God’s creation

do nothing to alter nature’s course

but with child’s eye

let your wonder arise

 

do not merely sustain yourself,

grabbing what you need

but find time to perceive the world He made,

take in its beauty and form

 

therefore let the Lord speak to you

through the things that He’s created

and give praise to the man upstairs

for the perfection of the picture He’s painted

“Fine” vs. “It’s a long story…”

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 by lucyar

Tis the season to be jolly- and to give quick fire one word answers to questions such as “How are you doing?”. It seems pretty funny that at the celebration of the one who had an abundance of time to spend with people; hearing about their worries, loving them into freedom, dialoging with them about beautiful, alternative ways to live, we are so rushed off our feet that we don’t have time to really find the answers to “how are you?”

So… subvert it.

Ask for real answers. Allocate 15 minutes each day to sit down with a colleague and hear how they are feeling. Find 2 hours in the run up to Christmas to sit down with a friend and just… chew the fat. Decline the temptation for a 6th visit to the mall for pressies and instead take the person you were pressie hunting for out for a cuppa. Do it in this spirit of Jesus:

Come thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.

(Charles Wesley)

Inn…or Stable?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2008 by sal

Is my heart looking more like an inn or a stable?

The inn could not accomodate Jesus. It was full. In comparison to the stable, it was probably a clean place. A self-sufficient place.

We all know that their was no room for Jesus at the inn. But it’s easy to overlook the characteristics of the inn when they exist in our own hearts.

Are we too ‘full’ – too preoccupied and busy to turn our attention to Jesus? Are we too ‘clean’ – too organised and precious to let him come in and mess up our thinking? Are we too self-sufficient – not realising how much we need him?

The stable on the other hand, could – and did – accomodate Jesus. Whether the ‘stable’ was in fact a cave or an enclosure or a hut or anything else, it was available. It was open. Inclusive. Humble. Raw. Real.

That’s what my heart should look like. As messy and unlikely as it may be, it needs to be available.

Jesus only had one birthday. It happened a long time ago in a stable. But I want to make sure that every single day, I’m as open and real toward him as that old stable was. And I never want to be like the innkeeper, and tell Jesus that I have no room for him.

It’s a cheesy analogy, but if you can’t be cheesy during the festive season, then when can you 🙂