Christmas 2011

This si the talk I did on Christmas day 2011 in South Cave Church
I was very sad to read, just this last week headlines and articles in newspapers that stated
“the British public has an aversion to Christianity”
“British Christians are ashamed to show their faith publically”
That is incredibly sad.
There are similar issues in our schools.
Whilst the official line taken by the school is “Tolerance”, the reality is far different and the children can be subjected to taunts, name calling and an attitude of criticism for being a Christian or having anything to do with a church.  It’s certainly not seen as cool or modern to have a Christian faith.
This Christmas we received lots of beautiful Christmas cards.  But there is a trend, more and more the cards we receive each year are wishing us “Festive wishes” “festive greetings” and other “happy Holidays”
We are in a world where there is no room for God.  Where Christmas is a secular celebration increasingly being referred to as “the holiday season”.  We are in a world devoid of understanding, full of disrespect with no time, no room for God
Where people cant stop, cant see and cant hear and who wont join in.
But is it actually our fault.  Do we hold some of the responsibility?
Are we Protecting ourselves from ridicule at the expense of sharing our faith with other people.

If we look at the bible reading from Luke reading Luke 2
-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
 13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

   Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
   Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
 15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

The shepherds told everyone... that is not a selected few, but everyone they came into contact with.

The flashmob video we saw earlier is something I have really enjoyed watching. I would love to have been there ……

But what can we take from the video this morning?

When the girl started to sing at the beginning, I bet she was really nervous.  She knew that others knew what was happening, but what if they all chickened out, what if she was the only one left singing?  But she sang out anyway.
Yes people may have thought she was mad, but she sang out.
There were those who didn’t want to know.  That put their heads down and hurried away, not wanting to be seen or associated with the singers.
There were those who busied themselves with their food, barely looking up, but unable to miss the beautiful music that was happening all around them.
Then there were the children, so utterly entraced by what they were hearing and seeing, so totally absorbed into the music that they were oblivious to the tugs from their parents to sit down.  They wanted to see and hear so much, that they stood on chairs to see.  Hungry for the music.
There were those with phones  taking photos and video’s of  it, so that they could go out and share the joy with other people.
The joy was evident The smiles of the singers and those listening
And these reactions are all reactions that may happen if we share with other people what Christmas means to us. 
You see Christmas is the perfect time to start sharing.  It’s a time of celebration, a time when in the resess of peoples minds there is some vague recollection of a manger and a baby.  By simply saying to someone ““this is what Christmas means to me” you are giving them the best Christmas present you could ever dream of.  It’s better than an x box 360, an It ouch, a transformer, a kindle……. You will be giving them the gift of a saviour, of a baby born in a manger,  & the love of a man who held his arms out on a cross for them.

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