Wednesday 17 January 2018

Shouldn't be a casual attitude to real Jesus

Rev. Steven Foster
Rev. Steven Foster

Rev. Steven Foster of Gorey Methodist Church

IT SUDDENLY dawned on me the other day, that twice during that day I had walked past Santa without barely giving him a second look!

 Now, that wouldn't have happened when I was a young child. (20 years ago!!) People dressing as Santa has become such a familiar thing at all sorts of promotions or parties in December that maybe I hardly notice him any more! Take me back to the emotions I felt at four years old, when I thought that I had met the real and only world-famous Santa who had especially flown in from Lapland! (And not on an airplane!)

The characters in the Christmas story reacted differently to Jesus. King Herod wanted to kill him. The Shepherds rushed to see him and the Magi travelled a huge distance. As for Mary, how do you sum up her emotions related to Jesus's coming?!

Later during his ministry, of the people that met Jesus during his time on earth, rarely did anyone react casually to him. They were either greatly inspired or they hated him. And so if we react casually to Jesus, it's quite possible that we have not been properly introduced!

Maybe baby Jesus, meek and mild, and lying in a cosy manger has become even more familiar to us than Santa in all his guises. We hardly notice him any more. However, if we pause to look at the real Jesus, we certainly couldn't have a casual attitude to him.

If you call yourself Christian (and even if you don't), have you ever actually taken the short time it takes and read one of the gospels simply to have a look at the real Jesus? Or taken time to pray, 'Jesus, I might not feel too bothered about some of the religious stuff that often goes with you, but show yourself to me'?

It's certainly my hope that you'll have a truly Happy Christmas! But more than that, it's my prayer that you'll experience the deep down, real and lasting joy that comes from meeting the real Jesus, and as a result, the meaningful hope that outlasts the sparkle of the season.

On behalf of the Methodist community in the area, I wish you a very joyful Christmas and a hope-filled 2014 during which we continue to look forward to loving and serving God and the wider community.

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