The Time Traveller

Christmas ServicesThere are certain ‘triggers’ in life that have the ability to whisk us back in time and make past events seem unnervingly real to us.  These can be good or bad, pleasant or painful memories.  This is certainly true concerning Christmas which has that unique ability of being able to carry the ‘traveller’ back in time, very often providing previous thoughts of our lives before they become tense, complicated or achingly mundane.  Christmas excels especially in bringing out the child in us.  “Christmas is the keeping-place for the memories of our innocence” said Joan Mills.  For a little while we are transported outside of the box we so often have made for ourselves.  The resident cynic within is given a few days break and is set free to dream dreams and see visions once more.

Harsh reality

Sadly, the New Year breaks in crudely upon us and we are faced once more with the harsh realities of life upon this troubled earth with family pressures, financial concerns, health problems and global issues occupying prime place in our thoughts.  We complain, but secretly welcome TV adverts now pointing us to breaks in the sun and another opportunity to escape, but we know in our hearts it’s a poor substitute for that inner longing we felt during dizzy December.  “Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique but too soon gone” (Deborah Whipp).

Settling for less

That deep soul-longing within us was placed there by God our Maker.  We instinctively long to dwell in a world of love, joy and hope instead of one where sighing, fear and regret seem to be the common experience.  Tragically we are so often willing to settle for less, and rather than accept God’s solution for out ills, we make do with a few days of cheerful escapism.

The real mystery of Christmas

The heart of the timeless Christmas message speaks of a gift that was given for all mankind – nothing less than God wrapped in human form coming as  our Saviour.  Love incarnate, love divine.  That profound mystery is revealed in one short verse…

‘For God so loved the world he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

John chapter 3 verse 16

The baby of Bethlehem was the Lord of glory entering our world specifically to die on a cross where he would pay the price for our sins.  One lovely carol, written by Frank Houghton puts it poetically like this:

He who was God
beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake
became a man;
Stooping so low, but
sinners raising
Heavenwards by His
eternal plan.
He who was God
beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake
became a man.

By simple childlike faith in Jesus, multitudes have found in him the fulfilment of that Gd-given inner longing of their hearts.  You could too.

Mike Mellor

Taken from Contact Magazine 2010