Christmas Reflection 2015
Do you believe in Miracles??
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14 NIV
Miracles- these figure heavily in the Bible don’t they! Jesus performed a number of miracles- there are 37 recorded in the gospels but at the end of John 21 he says-
‘Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written’
This tells us that the recorded miracles are only a ‘snap shot’ of what Jesus actually did when he walked on the earth! Miracles- the first miracle of the life of Jesus was his conception which is prophesised in the piece of scripture from Isaiah above- The Virgin birth of Jesus was indeed a miracle- he was conceived by the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary- Truly a miraculous act of God! It was the beginning of a miraculous and blameless life. That ended with his death on the cross and his miraculous rising from the grave- Jesus life on earth began and ended with a miracle!
Many people believe that Christmas time is a time when miracles come true- I was watching a ‘Christmas Film’ this week –‘Scrooged’ starring Bill Murray who stars as the modern day Scrooge- Frank Cross. It is a comical but heart-warming re-telling of the ‘Christmas Carol’ Story for the modern age of Television and consumerism. Towards the end of the film Bill Murray’s character makes the following speech after he has come to realise that there is a true meaning of Christmas that he didn’t understand:
‘It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, and we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be- it’s a miracle, it’s really sort of a miracle because it happens every Christmas eve.’
Frank Cross– ‘Scrooged 1989’
I love this speech- I had to stop and rewind the film a few times to make a note of it! It sums up what many people think about Christmas and that people are just a bit nicer to each other for a few short hours! People actually describe Christmas as a ‘Magical Time’ and when you see films like ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ they all sell the idea that something special can happen to anyone at Christmas. I even heard a Roads Policing Colleague say– ‘Christmas Eve is the only night of the year that I give verbal warnings’ – Truly a Miracle!
But friends I have to tell you that Miracles are not just for Christmas- they are for life….. We must not limit ourselves to believing in Miracles for a few days each year over Christmas. God isn’t limited to when he works in our lives, situations and the lives of people around us- God doesn’t only turn up at Christmas or just on a Sunday morning for that matter- God is ever present and ever ready to respond to us if we call!
I for one believe in Miracles- I have seen them and experienced one myself; I was healed from a severe infection on the day I became a Christian- and no I am not deluded or making it up! I had been suffering for weeks with a Chest and Throat infection that I couldn’t shift- I had no sleep and was very unwell- I was at church and had to go outside as I had a high temperature and felt very light headed. I was prayed for by the Pastor of the church I was at and within five minutes I had collapsed into a rose bush, my temperature had dropped to normal, all the pain, coughing and illness had gone- it was at that moment sitting in a flower bed surrounded by roses and feeling better that I gave my heart to Christ- a moment I have never regretted in the last 24 years- Oh and it wasn’t at Christmas……..
The truth is that miracles are all around us- the evidence of Gods divine hand is in each of us and in all of his creation. Every single day I look at my daughters and see the miracles that we have been blessed with- From the moment I saw their hearts beating in the womb, to seeing them both born, to Holly waving at me for the first time or Abi becoming a confident little girl with a mind of her own. There is nothing that can convince me that they are not both Miracles – gifts given to us by God!
I believe that it is on every single one of us to share Gods miraculous grace with others and show them that miracles can happen to them- You do have to take a chance, you do have to get involved- it is your job to share the miraculous life of Christ and what he has done for you with everyone! In Matthew 5 we read:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5 14-15
This Christmas take a look around; there are Miracles everywhere, think about the miraculous birth of Christ that we celebrate at this time of year. Think about his life death and resurrection on the cross and the true miracle that this has given us all the hope of new life and forgiveness for all our wrong doing if we seek forgiveness and a life serving him.
So as is traditional at Christmas, from your Branch Leadership Team and our families we wish you all a Peaceful, Blessed, Miraculous Christmas and 2016!