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Same Old, Same Old …

November 30, 2016

In 1991 Ian Smale, aka Ishmael, prolific producer of children’s praise songs (best known for “Father God I Wonder”) released an album with Christmas carols, because he’d realised that Christmas is “the one time in the year when even the most radical Christian prefers to be traditional and sing the ‘old favourites’”.

And I have to admit that I do like the annual return of the Christmas season, with its traditions of candles, carols and … “candy”? (Sorry all Brits, I couldn’t think of another word beginning with ‘c’).

But even more than that, I enjoy the opportunity to look again at the divine plan of salvation. It’s just so glorious: the promise of a divine Deliverer given centuries in advance; the birth of a normal but extraordinary baby; a bunch of ordinary people getting involved in the most outlandish royal visit ever; a down-to-earth career suddenly changing into three years of supernatural ministry; a religious festival turning into the most pivotal, history-changing execution in human history; a dismal tomb turned into the scene of God’s – and mankind’s – greatest victory.

It’s an amazing story, and there’s every reason to take some time to look properly at it – which is why most churches observe Advent: four Sundays leading up to Christmas. We will be looking at various aspects of God speaking to the people involved in the unfolding of the story, and we will of course be singing carols (including a few new ones, despite Ishmael’s misgivings).

But first and foremost we will celebrate God’s intervention in human history: the visit of the Messiah, God in human shoes, the Saviour we so desperately need to find that elusive Peace on Earth humanity is looking for.

 

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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