Volume 2 No 6

 As I see the shop shelves fill with the glitz and glamour that Christmas has become, and hear carols blaring, beckoning weary customers to enter and part with more hard earned Rands. I sometimes wonder what God thinks as he looks down on it all?

A plan has been in place since the foundation of the earth, revealing God’s immeasurable love for every one who has ever lived, or ever will live: the creator of the universe stripping himself of his power and glory and becoming a fleshly being, born among the stench and noise that is a stable. God incarnate, choosing to rescue humankind from themselves and their sin!

And I would probably agree with you if you argued that Christmas has become overly commercialised and in most cases, the true significance of it has been forgotten. I would even have to agree that the 25th of December was most likely not the day on which he was born. After all, the date is not recorded anywhere in the Bible.

But the words of the Apostle Paul, in Philippians 1:15-18, come to mind. In this passage Paul is referring to the way some were responding to his imprisonment. Some were seen to be taking advantage of Paul’s being out of the way, by preaching Christ to set themselves up in Paul’s place. Others were preaching Christ out of pure motives, simply to proclaim the gospel. Here is what Paul had to say about it: “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

So let us too rejoice and sing praises, for as the words of one carol declare: Sweet are these strains of redeeming love, Message of mercy from heaven above: Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest! 

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