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All Black

My daughter had finished decorating the Christmas tree in our lounge and it sparkled with colour and lights. Underneath the tree lay brightly coloured packages and ahead of me lay a week that I love; a time to see people and food that I only see once a year. Whether sitting under a Pohutukawa tree in NewZealand or imagining how it was in the old country, with cheery fires and snow men, Christmas seems bright and beautiful.
But, surrounded by bright lights, red candles, and presents, it is easy to forget there is a sinister and ugly reason for Christmas. Sin.
Every disrupted home; every shattered friendship, every wrong deed, evil thoughts and even good words unsaid, are the reason for Christmas.
Many years ago Thomas Guthrie wrote of sin…. “Who is the painted temptress that steals our virtue? Who is the murderess that destroys our life? Who is this sorceress that first deceives and then damns our souls? Sin.
Who with icy breath blights the fair blossoms of youth? Who breaks the hearts of parents? Who brings old men gray hairs with sorrow to the grave?
Who by a more hideous metamorphosis than Ovid even fancied changes gentle children into snakes, tender mothers into monsters and their fathers into worse than Herods? Sin.
Who cast the apple of discord on household hearts? Who lights the torch of war and bears it blazing over trembling lands? Who by division in the church rends Christ’s seamless robe? Sin.
Who turns the soft and gentlest heart to stone? Who hurls reason from her lofty throne and impels sinners mad as a Gadarene swine down the precipice into a lake of fire? Sin.”
Great writing and yes, though Jesus is the reason for the season, our sin is the reason for Jesus.
Matthew 1.21 reads, “And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin.
Sin maybe the ugliness of Christmas but the real beauty of Christmas is to understand how the ugliness is cured. We could not save ourselves but thank God, He sent a saviour Jesus Christ, into the world to save sinners. Sin is a disease cured by only one thing, and that is the blood of the divine physician Himself. He bore the punishment that we deserved so we could receive His eternal life which we never deserved.
So let’s enjoy the friends, family while remembering the value of all people that Jesus came to save but most of all let us receive the King and Saviour sent from God for us and let our Christmas be filled with gratitude for Jesus.

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